Category Archives: Technology

Well, it’s over. Or almost. Everything you think you know about the next five years at least is over. Decisions have been made — in reality a mini-revolution has occurred — and yes, it includes you and that little palm-sized gadget you’re married to. This revolution is all about you, requires your participation, and will fundamentally shift everything about your life. It’s happening — the train has left the station — and you’re an unwitting passenger.

Now that we’re on the cusp of a majority of Americans owning a smartphone, the sleeping giant of big business is starting to wake up and realize that their future profits rely on generating revenue from the little devices. Have they been slow to figure out how to monetize them? Yes. But now they have a few years of data on how you use your device, what you want from it, what you expect from it, and what you may be willing to do with it.

This mini-revolution revolves around what is called social commerce. ‘Cause what we definitely need is another term with the word “social” in it. But listen closely — social commerce is important — both for the web and the mobile marketplace. Social commerce is being ushered in by smart, one-tap types of companies: Open Table, Uber, Solo, First Dibs, and to some extent even the grand-daddies like Twitter. Social commerce is all about providing you a service that is defined by simplicity — the greatest, most successful apps are the simplest to use — and the data shows you are willing to pay for ease of use. Those that turn your smartphone into a remote control for your life are the ones that succeed: with Uber, tap a button and a car comes to take you away — are we living in nirvana? Your mobile behavior has told the marketplace that you will engage in social commerce with apps that add value to your lifestyle — your credit card is on file.

What does this say? It says that as businesses transition from the desktop/PC era to mobile, they should have both a short-term and long-term goal: in the short-term they should focus on developing a compelling user experience to gain and retain a diverse user base. Long-term they must monetize their service: once you’re hooked into their user experience, and you’ve made it a part of your life, you’ll pay for it. Simple. However, monetization must be more than just jamming ads into the feed. Ads alone will carry a company in their transition to mobile for 2-3 years, but there’s a tipping point when too many ads will degrade the user experience. The bottom line for the long-term view is there needs to be a reason to pay for the service.

The device in your hand is altering your life. And once companies transition to full-on mobile services, you will have more options to add one-tap experiences that enrich your life. You’re on the train, so hold on — it will be a bumpy ride — but you’re the central focus. It’s gonna work for you one way or another. That’s been decided.

Uberconference wins TechCrunch Disrupt New YorkThere is something to be said to striking when the opportunity is there. For startups and new companies, the best way to get noticed is by doing something daring and bold that everyone will want to pay attention to. In the technology industry, that means getting on stage and demoing your product to the audience in the hopes that there’s some appeal to the masses. And quite frankly, one of the best places to get your product involved with has to be anything TechCrunch is involved in. Over the past few years, the events put on by one of the industry’s leading publications has promote some of the most popular startups that are used in the world today: Mint.com (acquired by Intuit), Yammer (acquired by Microsoft), RedBeacon (acquired by Home Depot), GetAround, Shaker, and now Uberconference.

It seems that one of the most known things about winning at a TechCrunch event is that it will grant any company instant celebrity status–almost like the publication is a “king-maker” where mere-minutes after touting the success and accolades of a startup, the company goes into overdrive and reaps instant benefits to the news. The track record speaks for itself…after all that notoriety (in a good way), companies are stepping out into the world and entering their beta phase much wiser and with more interest in being funded. And for the lucky few that have successfully navigated their ways through the maze of competition at a TechCrunch event, the future rewards are immeasurable. But don’t take my word for it…let’s look at one recent winner: Uberconference.

HerHighway.com is taking some of todays most influential women in the online communities, placing them into some of today’s top vehicles, and letting them roam the country from Los Angeles to New York to raise money for Breast Cancer awareness.

You can attend a TweetUP in one of many stops across the country and meet all the amazing women who have volunteered their time to do the drive; Race-car drivers,  Social Media GURU’s, Automotive Experts,  Foodies and Fashionistas.

The schedule is as follows:

Starting Line September 25th leave Los Angeles CA – Vegas, NV – Salt Lake City UT

September 26th leave  Salt Lake City UT – Grand Junction CO – Denver CO

September 27th leave Denver CO – Colby KS – Salina KS

September 28th Salina KS – Kansas City MO – St. Louis MO

September 29th St. Louis MO – Bloomington IL- Chicago IL

September 30th Chicago IL – Indianapolis IN (special event)

October 1st Indianapolis IN – Columbus OH – Pittsburgh PA

October 2nd Pittsburgh PA – Philadelphia PA – NYC, NY Finish Line

Here’s a glimpse at just a few of the handful of Featured Ladies for this trip:

Social Media Advisers
Ann Tran
Misty Belardo
Zipporah Sandler
Joyce Cherrier

Automotive Journalists
Christina Selter, Editor HerHighway & Host
BJ Killeen, Drivers Talk
Cathy Droz, Two for the Road
Nina Russin, Carspondent

Motorsports
Judy Stropus, Retired Indy Crew Member/JVS Enterprises
Anne Proffit, Motorsports and Automotive Journalist
Shea Holbrook, Sports Car Racing
Ashley Van Dyke, AVD Motorsports

This September, make sure you start following the hashtag #HerHighway to follow along on what these amazing women are doing.

And hey, you may even see me (Krystyl) along the way! ;-)

Make sure to follow @HerHighWay on Twitter for updates on whats going on, and even a chance to win a seat for this roadtrip!

SquareThe world of mobile payments just got turned upside down. I think every startup has been wishing for this news to happen to them–it’s quite frankly a game-changer and can potentially put a lot of people out of business or at least rethinking their strategy. Okay, so what is everyone talking about right now? Probably that coffee giant, Starbucks, has just placed their bets on mobile payment service Square–so much so, that they’ve announced they’re going to invest $25 million in the startup’s latest round of funding.

Square has been in the news quite a bit lately and pretty much has become the media darling that everyone is talking about and wants to use. From recently announcing that they’ve processed over $6 billion in payments annually to securing deals with name brands like Staples, Target, Walgreens, and FedEx Office stores to distribute those iconic credit card readers, this mobile payment company has really hit the ground running hard and has become quite synonymous with pay-by-phone.

GAG, the world’s largest and fastest growing online comedy community, today announced a new mobile app for its wildly popular irreverent and hilariously funny content. 9GAG’s new mobile app – named “9GAG” makes it even easier for people to quickly discover, express and share visual entertainment through photos and videos by delivering seamless access from nearly any mobile device, including both Apple iOS and Android platforms. The only official mobile app from the creators of “9GAG” is available immediately from http://9gag.com/mobile and through the Apple App Store.

In addition to launching a mobile version, 9GAG today announced that it has received $2.8 million in seed funding from venture capitalists and angel investors led by early stage investment firms Freestyle Capital and True Ventures. Joining Freestyle Capital and True Ventures are First Round Capital; Greycroft Partners; returning investor 500 Startups; and individual investors Scott Banister (co-founder, IronPort); Chris Sacca (Lowercase Capital); and David Tisch (TechStars), among others.