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@JustinSiemer Density coupled with an upscale demographic? Portland? Maybe in the West Hills, but they only drive their SUVs.
Yes, there are stereotypes everyone. They become stereotypes because there is some basis in reality.
I don't drive cabs. But, I respect that there's a reason taxi regulations have come into existence and why they actually protect the public. Ever ridden in an unlicensed taxi in London? I have. I do not recommend it to anyone.
Uber has about zero to do with "technology." Confusing an iPhone app for real technology is not an argument for this forum. But, it's merely a booking device, no different than placing a phone call.
You go your way.
I'll go mine.
We'll both get there, but I'll have some change left in my pocket and know that insurance regulations were followed.
4 months, 3 weeks ago on We’ve Set Our Sights on the Rose City
@icedogg - I am sure I am wrong, as everyone who wants to pay more to "get from A to B" would say. But, not as everyone else might say.
@icedogg That's cool. Hopefully, they won't be landing on a flight arriving early in the morning or during rush hour in the evenings. My out of town guests will be on the MAX, where they'll arrive downtown without any delays, for a couple of bucks.
@Cardinale Let's apply two bits of logic to all this. First, my comments are purely from a Portland consumer's perspective. My feeling is that the culture of Portland, by and large, is quite different from the demographic who enjoy Uber. I believe Uber is a great fit in some markets and demographics. As far as I can tell, you have not provided one inkling of demographic data that supports Uber being wanted or successful in Portland.
The second bit of logic is, this is a discussion forum. Being the comment gestapo goes against the grain. Yes, I was a bit flippant, but, I was also sincere in my remarks.
@Cardinale Sorry, I just don't see it flying in Portland. Even with the well funded tech companies, where half the staff ride bikes or hop on the streetcar, those climbing into an Uber are going to look pretentious.
"It makes everything better" is an interesting statement. If it did, then why are there people feeling it makes things worse (such as, people who pay for their taxi license and accept regulations and public safety requirements,including insurances, on vehicles hired by consumers)?
But, hey, come on up. Just don't be surprised if it's pretty quiet and lonely for 'y'all.
Do we really need to drive around in an Uber, with our boxes of donuts and mason jars filled to the brim with Kombucha? Do Uber drivers really want to clean up bacon crumbs and micro-brew spillage?
PDX is kind of the anti-Uber. It's really small and doesn't have the upscale density required for Uber to thrive here. Biggest demographic? Probably the kids from Lincoln High on a Saturday night.
Broadway Cab with it's fleet of Prius' and Radio Cab with it's quick service are institutions here. Having Car2Gos in most locations is a DIY option. Gee, people take the Brew Cycle to cruise around and drink.
Uber? I'd seriously rethink PDX. It could be like jumping a sharknado.
@jholyheadYou're parsing deeper than I. Regardless, that's the NUANCE portion of the technology (yes, technically "speech recognition") . Where "voice recognition" is used to identify the actual person speaking (though these terms are casually intermingled in common use; since actual "voice recognition" is more obscure, yes, incorporating AI).To be clear, the "speech recognition" portion of SIRI, from NUANCE, is not in Beta, even though the "speech recognition" portion of the product is often confused or comingled with the AI portion.
11 months, 4 weeks ago on In which we discuss our new robot friends
In addition to @jwodin 's comment (Apple did not invent SIRI and the company Apple acquired first commercialized it from the DARPA license), Apple uses Nuance for it's voice recognition component (voice recognition is not AI), and the Nuance product is NOT in Beta at all; as it's been in the market for eons.
Regardless, calling SIRI "Beta" overlooks the fact that years of work, many millions of dollars, were spent on SIRI - And it's not in Beta (unless you take the definition of "beta" to the extreme; as in, "beta is forever") - It's merely a fairly outdated AI engine. Calling SIRI "Beta" is an excuse for it being a flawed product. It's a marketing ploy. Nothing else.
"SIRI" may become a Brand identity for whatever AI work Apple undertake; but it's pretty likely that they will eventually build an AI engine from the ground-up (for far less money than they acquired SIRI), and SIRI (the technology) will be shelved. It's not in Beta. It just doesn't scale very well.
Finally, the quest for a "generalist" personal assistant overlooks the vast range of opportunities to create thousands of Brand specific virtual agents. They achieve a far higher successful response rate and can even tackle emotion detection and nuanced conversations "Generalists" (who tap into 3rd party intelligence via APIs) will forever be limited by "cross talk" issues. OK, maybe not forever, but, for at least 20 years (until you incorporate more visual detection elements and even intonation elements within the algorithms).
12 months ago on In which we discuss our new robot friends
@talziv The other "hidden" information at this point in time are the malpractice lawsuits that these facilities settle (or, their insurance company settles) out of court (over 90% are settled privately), accompanied by non-disclosure agreements. A facility that was transparent on that front (even with redacted reports) would be interesting to see? Even an aggregated summary?Despite the bad press malpractice lawyers receive, the fact is that most claims are entirely legitimate and they provide the only check-and-balances that matter. Except, the public is rarely, if ever, aware of them.
12 months ago on Backed by 500 Startups, Silver Living offers honest reviews of senior communities
It seems pretty simple to me. Systrom is a smart guy. He's calculating. He's very good at manipulating Press to present a certain story. But, at the heart of the matter?
He cut a deal with #FB believing the share value was going to be North of $38. It's still 25% off it's Opening and 35% off it's High. Systrom will do what he needs to do to leverage Instagram so that his Share value gets back to where he'd like it to be.
What then? Probably exit stage left.
12 months ago on Kevin Systrom isn’t Twitter’s bitch. He isn’t Facebook’s bitch. He’s his own bitch
Shitty investors and shitty incubators spawn shitty entrepreneurs.
There are two main problems with Angels and Incubators:
1. The forced dumbing-down of the Pitch to something a 6 year-old can grasp; instead of a conversation that might last 10-20 minutes to, you know, check out some SUBSTANCE; have a little back-and-forth? The Pitch has become an Acting exercise. It has become amusement. It is all all polish and shine.
2. The "Contest-ization" of Start Up awards and money; and their presentation formats. Driven by tech blogs, then expanded into every crevasse of start-up and Angel programs, this is an adjunct to (1) above, where the Pitch is entertainment. Competition is not a bad thing, but, when it becomes entertainment fodder, it leads to a herd mentality more than finessing individual pairings of investors with entrepreneurs. It's stupid. It leads to bad pairings, like having a Pabst with your vegan Couscous.
I've heard the "you have one minute to impress me" line too many times in the past two years. You want simple? Look for a simpleton. Investors need to start looking for smart and different. They need to take the time to listen and uniquely respond, not simply tick off the 10 boxes (which they apply to every single start-up regardless as to applicability) they believe will lead to the elusive Pot 'o Gold.
To close the /rant, I'd say the truly bizzaro evolution in this space has been the Rockstarization of Angels. Sure, there are some genuine Rockstar'ish fellows in this space - But, they have created throngs of wanna-be Cubans or McClures, now in places like, Portland and Houston. They aren't wearing flip-flops yet, but, give it another year. But, the behavior is being mimicked by those who really can't pull it off. This creates the antithesis of what they are striving for- They have confused the real world for a reality show - They come off like a regional actor starring in Oklahoma. Cringe worthy stuff.
I've raised a fair bit of money from Angels in my time. But, it was from Angels who would invite you over to their home for the afternoon. They'd sit and talk. They'd want to develop a relationship (or kick you out the door). Both trust and responsibility were part of the equation. It was more than skin deep. These days, I won't sit on either side of the table, either at an Angel Fund contest or as an entrepreneur. None of it's worth it.
1 year ago on We know accelerators are headed for a shakeout — but do they?
@GeorgeHatchell 'tis a rare and fine day when ye o' tech-savvyness pay notice to a nom de plume from the lowly industry of visual distraction and yarn. /cut (You're the first. Everyone else is clueless).
1 year ago on The Series A crunch is hitting now. Have we even noticed?
The problem with QR and Image Recognition are the people who use these technologies. Largely, they are "print people."
They will spend $50K-$250K on creating a print ad and media buy, stick a QR code or Image Recognition feature on it, and maybe, if you're really lucky, spend $500 on whatever mobile experience they've sent you to.
Plus, they are all competing with the hundreds of QR codes people see everyday that are free, tacked up on walls, in doorways, in the newspaper, in the junk mail that lead to nothingness. There's only so much time in the day. Asking me to go from print-to-mobile, adding minutes to each engagement, MUST deliver real value. Uniquely mobile value.
As long as it's "print people" controlling the dollars and creative, none of this is going to attract mainstream consumers. Until the ratio of dollars are evenly divided in a print/mobile campaign, chances are the mobile experience will suck, big time.
If QR codes lead to interesting mobile experiences, we'd think of the little black-and-white grids as beautiful. Instead, we berate them. They are only "ugly" because of where they lead someone.
NFC has a certain advantage right now that there's a cost to it and it's being used by mobile agencies, not print agencies. But with inexpensive NFC printing on the horizon, it too may go the way of the QR code.
1 year ago on The QR conundrum (sorry for putting this eyesore on our homepage)
This is not just a phenomenon in Silicon Valley, it is across the U.S., where every little podunk town has 3 incubators, 2 accelerators and a regional Angel group with monthly or annual contests...and these local Angels, who all read about the Super Angels, all start every discussion talking about Exit Strategy or Series A, even though it's nearly impossible to achieve.
...What you get are 100 lightly funded companies of which (out here in the sticks) maybe 5 get a next round (not even at a level most would consider Series A). A 20% ratio would be wonderful. I"m seeing 3-5%.
...The real question is why Angels and incubators, and the like, aren't looking for companies that (drumbeat) can achieve revenue within 12-24 months? If you can start a company faster and cheaper than 5 years ago, why can't you accelerate your revenue too? Screw the Series A and VCs, make money the old fashioned way?
But until "revenue" becomes a buzzword, we'll keep hearing "exit strategy" and "Series A" as the only path forward. And that path ends at the edge of a cliff.
I get how/why this is a needed service. It's extremely difficult to get good information on Senior Living facilities (from Assisted Living on up through managed care).
But, having gone through this exercise, I've got to say that a web site that claims to be "unbiased" yet accepts fees from the facilities is a Big Hurdle, on first glance. The "unbiased" issue is obvious. But, it also means that I'm only being provided information about "partner/client" facilities, not 100% of available facilities (I can already go to Sunrise's Site and get tons of information about each of their locations (sunriseseniorliving.com) - So why is this different?).
The other variable that someone needs to address is that these facilities are (almost all) regulated by State commissions, usually by Health & Human Services. Each regulatory agency inspects, including unannounced inspections, and they also investigate complaints. Those reports are public knowledge, except the public doesn't know they exist. Each facility (speaking for certain States) must post those reports in a conspicuous location, but there is no obligation to post them online. I've visited many facilities and never seen these reports. The State Regulatory agencies are so backwards, they don't put the reports (which they have in .pdf format) online themselves. You have to request being sent physical or email copies. But, they are not online and they are not Searchable.
Believe me, if you want an objective report on a Senior facility, check out the regulatory reports on them.
If Silver Living incorporates those reports (and makes them Searchable), that would be an enormous value. The information would be objective. Then, someone could compare that information with the information generated by Silver Lining as well. Including even links to non-paid non-partner facilities would aid in making this an initial place to begin a Search.
That said, no matter how pretty someone's online pictures are; no matter how eloquent the description and the reviews - Go there yourself. At least twice, at different times of the day. Watching how staff interact with residents is the only real indicator of how a facility may fit someone's needs.
1 year ago on Backed by 500 Startups, Silver Living offers honest reviews of senior communities
@Jacurtis You might want to look at the actual job numbers over the past four years (released this week). Yes, Year-1 of Obama had job losses (as the greatest economic recession in 75 years was in full throttle mode); but, those loses were then clawed back and a net-positive job gain from Day-1 to today is now documented.
That doesn't mean it's perfect. It's just that your talking-points are wrong.
I do not know whether Bain Capital created a net job gain or loss. There certainly were both jobs created and jobs destroyed by Bain. I'm sure someone has the net figure. Regardless, Bain also benefited from operating during a time of economic growth, pre-Bush Jr., who drove this Country off the tracks.
1 year, 2 months ago on Samuel L Jackson’s Patronizing, Hypocritical Viral Message To Obama Voters
Yes, these hardly rise above mattress ads or local car dealer ads. But, the only people who care are the core Apple demographic, which is not the intended audience.
This is a bit like when Instagram released an Android version. The vociferous of the core Apple boys and girls got in a tiz (Android users would "ruin" Instagram for them). It's simply no fun being in a club you've stood in line for hours to get into, paid your dues, then the doors are thrown wide open for the masses to enter freely.
So, Apple's growth is slowing. They need to expand market share among some of their product lines. They feel they can entice a new demographic who, yes, is the average, PC'ish, Best Buy shopper. They target some ads toward them, in turn, upsetting the core demographic.
Unfortunately, there is no win::win when you need to support both your elite users and attract the masses.
Apple are a great company when they serve a 5-10% of some device's market share (the iPod being the exception). Reaching beyond that core demographic creates conflict and alienation. Historically, companies spin-off sub-brands to address this problem. But, that notion seems extremely contrary to Apple's DNA, so not likely to happen.
1 year, 4 months ago on Ken Segall: Why Steve Jobs Never Put Customers in Ads
@StartupHotOrNot Cynical. Not bitter. Which I believe is healthy. But, also, mildly compassionate. I feel sorry for the average (non C-level) person who got locked-up when the share price was hovering around $45. Other than that? I'm more interested in start-up news than news about public companies (you can't be both).
1 year, 4 months ago on Facebook Doesn’t Need a New CEO, Reuters Needs a New Technology Writer
Respect is a two-way street.
Just as Investor's should respect the Founder of a company they invest in -- Likewise, if a company takes Other People's Money, they should respect those investors-- That $10B in the bank is Other People's Money.
The Reuter's article was the first of many that will emerge because investors who married into Facebook feel like it was a Vegas Wedding, after a night of winning roulette and drinking way too much Kool Aid, followed by a check-in at a Motel 6 far north of the Strip.
In the cold light of day, sans make-up, nothing's looking very pretty.
Confidence is lowering. During the earning's call, the CEO didn't inspire. No one can explain how the geniuses at #FB missed the consumer evolution to mobile for the past 5 years and are now playing catch-up vis a vis "acquihires." (And how many $1B acquihires can you do with $10B in the bank?). The persistent use of the term "social" sounds more like a shield, than a strategy. It rings hollow.
Founders...entrepreneurs...who accept Other People's Money, then feel they have no obligation in return, typically don't fare very well. Romanticizing entrepreneurs while denigrating The Money that allowed them to get where they did, is never a good strategy. When it's symbiotic and respectful, it works. There will always be tension, but that can be used in positive ways.
BTW, the Wall St. Journal shows a market cap of $65B. But no one cares about market cap. What actually matters most is the stock price today ($23.65) compared to the perceived value during it's last secondary market trades pre- Lock-up ((+/- $45)...and the impact that has on vested employees (they are half as wealthy today, compared to five months ago). While Zuckerberg himself if $7.2B poorer, the impact on the employee who thought he/she had $1M, but finds they only have $500K, will be significant (especially, when much of the company's cash is "acquihiring" outside of the core staff). #FB have already lost key staff...the real story is about what happens when the Lock-up ends?
I used to really enjoy Ms. Lacey's writing, back when she was probably the best writer at Techcrunch. But, here, on PandoDaily? Not so much. IMO, it would be better to get back to the roots and voice of her writing about emerging tech, rather than worrying about other tech writer's opinions on a public company. In fact, once a company goes public, it would be nice if the tech blogs moved on to greener pastures and covered stories about something new and different.
"... doesn’t seem to care. He’s not out to please ..."
I think that is pure facade. Theater. Why was Zuckerberg out in Arkansas last weekend?
Because he was hangin' with those super' cool folks at Wal-Mart. If that's not a signal of his actual motives and desire to be an uber-capitalist, I'm not sure what is? Read the statements that came from the Arkansas meetings, paraphrasing "we want to be just like Wal-Mart." Someone sure seems to care about money and pleasing Investors.
Just like Facebook itself, there's a public and a private persona for everyone, and rarely do the two entirely sync up. I wouldn't be so quick to buy into the boy-in-a-hoodie persona anymore. Dig deeper?
1 year, 4 months ago on Facebook Needs New Revenue Streams, Fast