Douglas Crets

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Giving Credibility to the Shadow Education System

Groupon is a Cyborg, Now Watch the Groupon IPO Roadshow Video

The most  amazing thing about the Groupon IPO Roadshow Video is that Andrew Mason, CEO and Founder, refers to Groupon as a Cyborg.

Yes.

Groupon is a hybrid of human and technology

One of the reasons Mason believes this is because in order for his company to provide up to nine months of backlogs of potential deals is that the “Deal Factory” putting all of the deals together has to do sometimes ten different levels of preparation and fact-checking. If they don’t, “something can go horrifically wrong and erode the business base,” says Mason.

The company also employs over 400 people just to write exciting content.

Three of the top executives are from Amazon. One is from Google, and another is from Salesforce.com.

Another selling point that I thought was a pretty good indicator of future direction: online allows you to achieve the massive density that you need to make local commerce attractive. Groupon built the technology that allows them to extract the data that makes the proposition even more lucrative over time. The more data they can extract, the moer deals they can launch, and the more they can market to consumers who might want that opportunity. Scaleable over time.

They are able to determine how consumers operate, think and behave down to the granularity of Manhattan versus other people in Brooklyn or Queens. According to Jeff Holden, SVP or Product Development (formerly at Amazon), they are able to tell you if a person is at X destination they are likely to go next to destination Y.  And they obviously can tell you what they are likely t0 purchase.

Go ahead and watch the video. It’s Mason’s chance to start talking after those few months when everyone was slamming his company and calling it a ponzi scheme.

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Filed under: Influence, Work, ,

DCM Announces the First Eight Android-Only Investments in Portfolio

Android robot logo.

Image via Wikipedia

Today DCM announced the first investments made in its A-Fund, an Android-only investment portfolio that is, I believe, the first one of its kind.

And the mix is a global bag, with a particular focus on the Asia market.  Here are the companies:

 PapayaMobile, the leading Android mobile social gaming network with over 30 million users in China and the U.S.

Appia, creators of a white-label mobile app store platform currently processing over 1 million downloads per day for operators, handset manufacturers, and other partners

Billing Revolution, a mobile payments company that enables secure payment transactions through their PCI-compliant Single-Click Checkout platform

Happy Elements, a social game developer with 2.5 million active daily users on Facebook’s non-English market, as well as users on Mixi in Japan and Kaixin001 in China

Kanbox, a leading Chinese cloud storage and sharing service provider

Loki Studios, which makes location and environment-aware smartphone games like their flagship monster battle game, Geomon, which stars a freaking unicorn with a rainbow mane! FTW!

Kakao Corp., developer of KakaoTalk, a cross-platform mobile messaging application with over 25 million users worldwide.

Filed under: Gaming, Influence, Tech, Work, , , , , , ,

Steve Jobs Biography: Education System Crippled by Unions, Barack Obama Doing it Wrong

Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

Steve Jobs, sounding more like a conservative Republican than a liberal Democrat, told President Barack Obama when they met in Silicon Valley, that the nation’s school systems were “crippled.” This comes from the Huffington Post, which received an advanced copy of the Walter Isaacson biography, due out October 24.

Jobs also criticized America’s education system, saying it was “crippled by union work rules,” noted Isaacson. “Until the teachers’ unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform.” Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year.

Though Jobs was not that impressed by Obama, later telling Isaacson that his focus on the reasons that things can’t get done “infuriates” him, they kept in touch and talked by phone a few more times. Jobs even offered to help create Obama’s political ads for the 2012 campaign. “He had made the same offer in 2008, but he’d become annoyed when Obama’s strategist David Axelrod wasn’t totally deferential,” writes Isaacson. Jobs later told the author that he wanted to do for Obama what the legendary “morning in America” ads did for Ronald Reagan.

I wonder if at some point Jobs didn’t just decide he was going to run for president himself, damn this country!  Can you imagine a Steve Jobs presidency?

Filed under: Digital Learning, Influence, Tech, , , , , , ,

Magical Thinking Did Not Work for Steve Jobs

By the time that Steve Jobs got around to treating the rare form of pancreatic cancer that had been eating away at him, nine months had passed, and the tissue around the pancreas had started to become affected by the aggressively moving cancer. Walter Isaacson tells 60 Minutes that Jobs waited so long because 1. he didn’t want his body to be cut open, and 2. he believed that magical thinking would end the cancer.

http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/cbsnews_player_embed.swf

Filed under: Digital Learning, Influence, Tech, , , , , ,

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