Tech + Gadgets
If you have the impression that information overload may be becoming a problem for you in this digital age, listen to Robby Walker, co-founder and CTO of Cue.
“Is there is too much information out there? Yes there is,” says Walker. “We sampled how much digital information enters the average person’s life each day, and we found that it averages 63,000 words per day.”
When it comes to furniture shopping, lots of retailers come to mind – Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, IKEA, Williams-Sonoma, plus a whole host of others.
In fact, the furniture industry is so highly fragmented that the top 12 retailers nationally only control a cumulative 12.6 percent of the market.
In addition, a long complicated supply chain stretching in many cases from manufacturing plants in China and elsewhere in Asia and involving multiple middlemen, helps to inflate the cost of each piece of furniture substantially by the time it reaches you, the consumer.
If ever there were an industry ripe for disruption, it would be the fashion industry. Long ruled by a clique of insiders, who presumed they knew best what new styles you would buy; it’s been, in the words serial entrepreneur Jon Fahrner, a “historically closed industry.”
Central to how that industry functions is Fashion Week, which happens twice a year in the major fashion capitals of the world – New York, Paris, London and Milan.
These, of course, have been exclusive events attended by industry insiders, with little access for the public – until recently.
It’s a natural fit, because this is the startup that has been connecting many of those individual street vendors – people with a food stand or cart in the Mission, a truck, a pop-up café, or a stand at the Farmers Market – with the businesses downtown ordering meals for their employees.
My boyfriend, who lives in Hong Kong, just visited me here in SF. A few days into his stay he confronted me with his iPad, with which he had been tracking the location of my cell phone from Hong Kong. I was shocked. He even showed me a map from a few weeks before when I was in Palo Alto with a friend. The map clearly showed a little icon with my name on it, right at my friend’s address. My BF wanted to know who the friend was and why I hadn’t mentioned it to him. I, in turn, told him to leave immediately and lose my number. Later, my techie friend told me it’s because I had turned on the “Find My iPhone” setting. Apparently, all he needed was my Apple ID to track me—which he of course knew, since I used it all the time to download from iTunes. Did I overreact?
When we first looked at Nextdoor five weeks after it launched late last year, the San Francisco-based startup had already helped people create 550 private social networks for their neighborhoods across the country, 100 here in the Bay Area.
Since then it’s grown to encompass 4,000 neighborhoods in 48 states and is adding at least 20 more networks every day.
As some 180,000 people – most of them from outside of the city limits – descend on Golden Gate Park this weekend for the annual Outside Lands Festival, the big question is: Where are they going to park?
After all, the parking passes offered by Outside Lands (at $150 a pop) sold out almost as soon as they became available.
For everyone who didn’t grab one of those, a scrappy little startup called ParkPlease says it has come up an alternative.
In the smartphone era, there are opportunities to make our everyday lives smarter in multiple ways, and highly skilled entrepreneurs are hard at work figuring out how to do just that.
A prime example is Randy Adams, a serial entrepreneur and founder of seven venture-backed technology companies, with a track record that includes the invention of the PDF at Adobe; the establishment of the first e-commerce web site (the Internet Shopping Network); and the creation of the first PC desktop publishing app, Personal Publisher.