Building companies that build bridges…

I love working on technology that helps people connect with one another and make the world a smaller place.

In his latest New York Times op-ed, Roger Cohen highlights AirBnb as helping to connect the world, regardless of your race or nationality. It’s a seemingly different story than nationalism, which seems to be hitting a fever pitch.

I wonder if we are looking in the wrong places to assess the state of the world. The twilight of an era, as in Vienna a little over a century ago, is always murky. With nationalism and xenophobia resurgent, examples of humanity’s basest instincts abound. They grab the headlines. At the same time, community and sharing, often across national borders, through digital platforms like Airbnb, BlaBlaCar and Facebook, expand. This is the world’s undercurrent.

Certainly makes you more hopeful.

Caliphate by The New York Times is One of the Best Podcasts of the Year!

I listen to a lot of podcasts. The podcast, on ISIS, Caliphate by The New York Times (subscribe via iTunes) is one of the best podcasts that I’ve listened to all year.

Caliphate Host and New York Times ISIS beat reporter Rukmini Callimachi shares incredible research on ISIS, interviews former ISIS members/trainees, and goes to Iraq & Syria to collect document in abandoned ISIS buildings.  It’s masterfully produced.

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve heard about terrorist group ISIS. Every day they’re in some kind of news story. There was so much I didn’t know. I didn’t realize that ISIS was such a governing state. They administered municipal services like trash pickup. Despite the physical state having been disrupted, I didn’t realize how much the mentality had spread across the world because of the Internet.  I didn’t realize the depths of their brutality.  In the podcast, they talked about the view of sexual violence and child slavery as a religious act.

When there’s an issue like battling ISIS that’s so prevalent in American life, it’s important to educate yourself. The New York Times, Rukmini Callimachi, and the Caliphate team have done an incredible job with this podcast. It’s a MUST listen.

The Next iPhone is No iPhone

Every year, Apple upgrades the iPhone with the hope that it makes you feverishly want to buy a new one. It’s worked so well that it’s made them one of the most valuable companies in the world.

Increasingly, it seems like the next iPhone is no iPhone. What does that mean? It’s become less about an Apple device in my pocket. It’s now Apple devices all over me. My favorite Apple devices are now the Apple Watch and my Apple AirPods wireless headphones. I may not have my iPhone on me but I always have my Apple Watch on and I’m increasingly always having my AirPods on.

I’m seeing both the Apple Watch and the Apple AirPods more ubiquitously on people as I go throughout my day. People poo poo’d the Apple Watch when it was launched. They said it was a dud product. Increasingly,  more of my friends have one. When I was in NYC, I almost saw just as many Apple AirPods as I saw traditional Apple Ear Buds.

Now, the news in Bloomberg is that Apple is working to upgrade the Apple AirPods with better computer chips so you can more easily talk to Siri. They’re no longer just headphones. You really have a computer in your ear. Google has already made headphones that can translate languages its hears.

You have to believe, with Apple’s investment in augmented reality and ARKit, Apple Glasses aren’t that far off.  Maybe by that point, we’ll have Apple contact lenses that’ll display information on our eyeballs.

The future of the phone isn’t a phone. It’s computers all over you that help you navigate through your life.

 

 

MoviePass on Recode Media

I’m fascinated by the content and media industry and it’s associated business models. One of my favorite podcasts is Recode Media with Peter  Kafka.

This week he talked to Mitch Lowe with MoviePass about how they’re re-thinking the way that people go see the movies. For those of you not familiar, MoviePass allows you to see a movie every day for $9.95 per month.

It was a fascinating conversation.

It’s interesting to listen to people that don’t necessarily listen to the way that things have been and make the future we all want, which is exactly what MoviePass is doing.  I recommend listening.

 

Inspiring us to dream

Like many others, I watched the launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket. It’s truly amazing to think that within my life time that we could have commercial travel to a real estate within space.

I have such respect for folks like SpaceX CEO Elon Musk that are willing to lay it all on the line to make their dreams a reality. Because Elon’s dreams are so big, its an inspiration to the rest of us. Elon is defining the future and so can we.

Falcon Heavy launches off historic Launch Complex 39A for its first flight.

A post shared by SpaceX (@spacex) on

I want Tesla Solar Panels!

Tesla just announced that they’re going to be making their solar energy products available at 800 Home Depot stores across the United States.

I’m so excited to see Tesla and solar energy becoming more mainstream. We need more energy solutions in the US. The answer is energy alternatives not drilling more oil.

I’d love to add Tesla solar panels to our house with the battery, produce enough of our own electricity, and stop paying the electric company.

Self driving cars are coming…

Every year the State of California releases data on the companies that have licenses to drive self-driving cars, like how many miles they drive and how often they have to disengage self-driving mode.

For Waymo…

…its cars go around 5,600 miles between disengagements. To put that into perspective, if Waymo gave one of its cars to someone with a 10-mile commute, that person would only need to take over the wheel about once a year, on average.

For Cruise (a part of General Motors)…

…it went from 35 miles per disengagement in last year’s report to 1,250 miles per disengagement this year.

Self-driving cars are coming! Get ready.

What’s your voice marketing strategy?

The 2017 holiday season was BIG for smart speakers, like Amazon Echo and Google Home. They’re now in 39 million American homes.

Just today, this space hit another milestone. JP Morgan has hired Vayermedia to be their agency of record to tackle voice marketing. It shows that BIG brands are taking notice.

Also interesting that this space has formalized enough to be its own specialty… voice marketing.