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Takeaways from the Eilat Renewable Energy Conference

This week, I attended the Eilat Renewable Energy Conference. I’ve been working on renewable energy (primarily photovoltaic) for about two years now, and this conference has been a good chance to reflect on the industry. In my mind, it goes without saying that VCs (and Israeli VCs in particular) should not ignore renewable energy as [...]

A roundtable on mobile applications – and some thoughts on the AppStore

On Monday, Levi Shapiro gave a great talk on mobile applications and advertising at a roundtable hosted by my firm, Genesis Partners. A few takeaways from the session at Genesis: Mobile 1.0 is over. Among US wireless subscribers, penetration of mobile games (6%), audio (12%), and premium SMS (5%) has been flat or down for [...]

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Danger: Commoditization Ahead

Back in September, Google announced that it was adding facial recognition to Picasa. That must have come as something of a blow to the facial recognition start-ups that are hoping to dominate that niche with superior technology. Last week, Google released Latitude, which is an upgrade for Google Maps for Mobile that includes social networking [...]

A takeaway from Mini Seedcamp Tel Aviv: Submarine Captains and Fisherman

I had the privilege of attending Mini Seedcamp Tel Aviv last week. It was a great event with 20 impressive start ups and lots of good advice and good will from the Israeli entrepreneurial community. It’s exciting to see so much young talent in Israel and so many people willing to help by donating their [...]

Three videos: youth marketing, growing up online, and tying it all together

Two of my favorite sources of web video content are the PBS documentary series Frontline and the unparalleled TED conference videos. This morning, I found myself watching a Frontline report from 2001 called “The Merchants of Cool” about marketing to youth and the beginnings of guerilla marketing.  It’s a great look inside the big media [...]

Social network serendipity

An amazing thing is about to happen – Barack Obama’s inauguration. But a (much smaller) amazing thing just happened to me and perhaps to millions of other Facebook/CNN users. I logged into CNN to watch some live coverage of the Obama inauration….and without doing anything, was logged in automatically to the CNN/Facebook joint inauguration experience. [...]

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The Economist gets it right again

I don’t really have enough time to blog today, but I did notice this article from the Economist, and I think its important enough to post here. The article is particularly timely given the extensive coverage of the drop in US venture funding in the fourth quarter, the generally dismal mood among Israeli VCs, and [...]

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The Xobni breakthrough

  Occasionally, a company will come along with a product that shows us the way forward and prepares a market for a change that is coming. I think Xobni is one of those companies. Why? Because our social interactions on e-mail, social networks, twitter, IM, and mobile phones are rich with data that has yet [...]

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Music sales down 14%, digital track sales up 27%

eMarketer just published some data on US music industry sales from a Nielsen press release. The catalyst was Apple’s overdue announcement that it is shifting to a DRM-free model. Overall album sales are declining by 14%. Some of this is the economy, but most of it is a continuation of a trend that has been [...]

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Ten minutes and one hour on the financial crisis

If you have ten minutes, read Michael Lewis’ fantastic piece from the New York Times today. If you have an hour, listen to this straight-forward episode of This American Life that explains some of the roots of the crisis. I promise its actually quite easy to follow and well worth the time – since it [...]

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