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Month: May 2015

The Obsession With Silicon Everywhere

There are many commentators who argue that there is a bubble in Silicon Valley today. They may or may not be right, but there is certainly a bubble in places named after the preeminent global tech ecosystem. Silicon Border. Silicon Hills. Silicon Steppe. Silicon Prairie. Silicon Roundabout. Silicon Gulf. Silicon Avenue. Silicon Canal. Silicon Alley. Silicon Beach. Silicon Forest. Philadelphia has a groaner of a region with Philicon Valley (whoever invented this should be banished from marketing for five years or forced to market Path). That leaves Korea as one of the only places in the world to emphasize geography over metals with its Honghap Valley district. Silicon may be one of the most abundant materials on the earth, but the absolute obsession with naming any tech office park after Silicon Valley is a trend that needs to stop. Innovation ecosystems don’t just pop out of the ground once a sign blasting “SILICON!” is staked. Instead, they are inculcated over many years through effective government policy around education and business regulation, plus are usually offshoots from other globally-competitive industries. It is no surprise that some of the most successful new high-tech regions of the past decade are in Los Angeles, New York, and London. Pursuing disruptive technology companies as a policy is deeply distracting, and governments will find that their time and money would be better spent investing in...

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A Fundraising Template Every Entrepreneur Can Use

Raising massive rounds these days is so commonplace that most of us tune out fundraising news altogether. The fundraising environment has changed so dramatically over the past four years, it’s almost incomprehensible to those of us who lived through it. A lot has been made of how ridiculous late-stage rounds have gotten, as well. Bill Gurley penned one of the best pieces I’ve read on the subject recently; to raise late-stage rounds, startups go through far less diligence and scrutiny than they would if they decide to go public. As a result, a lot of late-stage startups lack the operational discipline necessary to go public. I would argue that trend trickles down all the way to the earliest stages of venture-backed companies and really starts there. Early-stage CEOs are practically taught to not even put a financial model in any of their fundraising decks until they get to their Series B. It’s all about building product in the early stages right? You don’t need to worry about figuring out a business since it’s all about growth in the early stages, right? Wrong. Every CEO needs to fully understand the cost of doing business before deciding to raise any outside capital. You don’t want your burn rate to get ridiculous in the early days, so force yourself to put something basic together, even if it’s out of your comfort zone....

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London Is Redefining Tech Startups Through Adventurous Capital

London hit an important milestone this month, but you may have missed the news as it emerged with a characteristically British lack of fuss. For the first time, the city’s technology startups attracted in excess of half a billion dollars of VC funding in a single quarter – $646.98 million for the period January to March 2015. The data, collected by London and Partners (the evangelical wing of the London Mayoralty) puts the city on course for a $2 billion-plus investment year. That feels a lot like progress when you consider that London’s tech firms scraped together a miserly $10 million in Q2 2010. However, on purely numerical terms, our achievements are still modest. London’s 2014 funding total of $1.35 billion puts it on par with Redwood City, Calif., population 76,000 and home to Evernote, Reputation and Turn. Even more humbling is the fact that San Francisco-based Uber raised $3 billion on its own last year. But size isn’t everything. London exerted architectural influence long before its sedate skyline was punctured by the monolithic Shard. So it is with our technology companies – modestly proportioned, but globally significant. Consider fintech and the foundations on which this rapidly growing sector is built; London is the world’s leading foreign exchange hub, handling $2.6 trillion per day, more than double that of New York City. It sits on the prime meridian, literally the centre of the...

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Jamie xx ‘In Colour’ Mix for BBC Radio 1

Jamie xx‘s debut album In Colour is set to unveil next week. While we wait in anticipation, the British producer has offered the LP in all its streaming glory over on iTunes as well as presenting a new In Colour mix for Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show. Clocking out to 25-minutes long, we’re treated to alternate mixes to the 11-tracked album all seamlessly blended in together. The likes of “Stranger In A Room” featuring Oliver Slim are played back-to-back with “Loud Places” featuring Romy, before radio-friendly, Young Thug-collaborative number “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” rounds out the selection. Check out the mix below and stay tuned for In Colour, set to release June 2 via Young Turks. Article source:...

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Designer Conceptualizes The "Apple Macintosh Phone," May Be What the iPhone Would’ve Looked Like in 1984

With news of the upcoming Apple iPhone already swamping newsfeeds, a designer decided to take a look back and reimagine what an iPhone would have looked like had it been created in 1984. Pierre Cerveau takes some of Apple’s oldest design elements, tied together with technology of yesteryear, to provide us with a tangible image of an iPhone the older generations might have had. Head over to his website to check out more. Article source:...

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