Posted On August 22nd, 2017 by Crowded Ocean
‘Resters and Vesters’: talented engineers who have lots of unvested shares of stock in privately held but “hot” startups are said to be “coasting” along and not really working that hard.
DNA data storage: researchers have now demonstrated how data can be converted from the 1s and 0s of binary code to the As, Cs, Gs and Ts of human genetic code. Because of that, researchers predict that the space-saving potential of data stored in DNA will be the solution to the enormous need for data storage. Theoretically, DNA storage could provide a cheaper and more environmentally sound alternative to huge server farms. There is a short shelf life to data stored on hard disks, flash drives, mag tape and DVDs, but data stored in DNA is believed to be able to last thousands of years.
Doxxing: according to an article in Recode, doxxing is “searching for and publishing private or identifying information about an individual on the internet, typically with malicious intent.”
Smart dust: according to the Wall Street Journal, this is “tiny, wireless micro-electromechanical systems that can detect measurements such as light and temperature.”
Foiling: the latest sports craze in Silicon Valley – and favored by many tech entrepreneurs – is called hydrofoiling, or foiling for short. The sport combines a small surfboard with rudder, motor and kite.
Posted On August 1st, 2017 by Crowded Ocean
Chipmunk speed: podcast fans are flooded with so many choices of content these days that avid listeners have started to consume content at 1.5X or 2X (or more) the normal speed using the feature in the podcast app settings. Maybe this is a new way to keep up with your friends and startup denizens: speed-listen to your favorite podcasts and consume more in the same amount of time.
Smishing: short for “SMS phishing”, this security attack targets a user to download malware onto their cell phone via text message, rather than email.
Cyber-physical systems: that’s a physical system that can be manipulated by digital means, such as an industrial pump, could be vulnerable to a cyber attack. Security researchers at the 2017 BlackHat Conference illustrated how industrial systems in physical infrastructure that’s far beyond traditional security barriers, can be quietly hacked.
Bimodal IT: the new label for corporations that are managing legacy systems while embracing new technologies like AI and machine learning. According to a recent survey of CIOs, senior IT managers and other IT decision makers, 79% said they are already or are planning to adopt a bimodal IT strategy this year.
Posted On July 11th, 2017 by Crowded Ocean
New-collar jobs: an emerging job category in the U.S. is skilled workers who do not have a four-year college degree but who can qualify for so-called “middle-skill” jobs Economists applaud the trend as a new route to the middle class and evidence of opportunities through skills-based jobs.
Manterruptions: California Senator Kamala Harris was repeatedly interrupted during her questioning of Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a Senate Committee hearing in June. As a result, she’s become the poster child for this bad habit and the double standard that women leaders experience in the workplace. Her predecessor in this controversy surfaced two years ago in the lawsuit against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins filed by female partner Ellen Pao. Pao described the company culture at KP as “interrupt-driven” and was even offered “interrupt coaching” to help her acquire the skills to hold her own with aggressive male colleagues.
Steganography: a new source of cyber security alarm is the concept of hackers hiding malicious code or content inside benign software. It’s possible, for example, to hide malicious information inside an image.
Posted On June 28th, 2017 by Crowded Ocean
In today’s increasingly competitive hiring market, the advantage is clearly with the job candidate, not the company. As a result, companies often hire rapidly, only to regret the lack of a strong vetting process later, when the new hire turns out to either be overmatched or a poor cultural fit.
The former is rarely the case when it comes to technical hires, since their peers are generally able to sniff out the overmatched candidate in early interviews. But in roles with broader, less defined boundaries, such as Marketing and Sales, it seems to be easier to make a hiring mistake. Sometimes, it’s that technical founders lack the experience and instincts to successfully hire a non-technical role and this is a problem that VC board members often identify as a common early stumble.
Cultural diversity pays off in building for the next growth stage
One way startup founders can limit their hiring mistakes is to get an outside perspective. A startup runs at a certain pace and has a certain set of values, which often makes it difficult to recognize the potential of a candidate who doesn’t immediately fit into that cocoon-like environment. But consider two things: 1) the candidate who doesn’t immediately fit may broaden the company’s perspective, leading to more success; and 2) that same candidate may be a better fit for the next stage of the company—just when the earlier-stage employees are running out of ceiling.
As we’ve noted in these earlier blog posts, “Diversity in your startup: psychological diversity”, and “When should your startup focus on diversity”, hiring for diversity pays off in smarter decisions and better business. So, whether it’s a Board member or a trusted Friend of the Company (an advisor who has some incentive, such as equity, to dedicate time and effort to the process), broaden your hiring process to get the fullest possible perspective—and the best possible candidate.
Posted On June 13th, 2017 by Crowded Ocean
Prebuttal: a pre-emptive rebuttal, a prebuttal is familiar to anyone following politics and the circus that is President Trump’s administration and Washington D.C. these days.
Neurotech: an emerging field that combines neurology, neuroscience, neurosurgery and the hardware of smartphones is changing the lives of people with innovations like deep-brain stimulators.
Neural lace technology: a hardware innovation of billions of tiny brain electrodes that “may one day allow us to upload and download thoughts,” according to Elon Musk.
FAANG stocks: the giants of technology stocks are closely watched and often trade up and down as a block. That’s FAANG, which stands for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (Alphabet).
Posted On May 31st, 2017 by Crowded Ocean
Fat startup: According to the New York Times, the changes in capital markets now favor startups with grander visions and needs for funding levels on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars. As a result, “ideas that once seemed too expensive, too risky or just too crazy are now getting off the ground.” These start-ups are “fat” with capital funding and ambition.
Stack logic: The concept of a “software stack” is well understood in tech-land as separate layers of software working together to accomplish a task. The metaphor of a stack has now bled over to futurists and trend-watchers to describe a common set of resources according to this recent New York Times article.
Genericide: So far, the courts have held up the trademark protection of “Google” but it is quickly following the path of aspirin by transitioning into the mainstream as a verb and thereby causing Alphabet (the Google mother ship) to lose its trademark protection.
Hiring pipeline: This phrase is being used over and over to explain why real progress in gender and ethnic diversity is not evident in management and leadership roles at technology companies. As the theory goes, there simply aren’t enough qualified women or people of color coming into the candidate pool. But there’s more to it, of course.
Posted On April 4th, 2017 by Crowded Ocean
Eco-anxiety: if you’re nervous about climate change, Trump’s “clean coal” delusion, etc., then you’ve got eco-anxiety.
SCIF: Thanks, House Intelligence Committee, for introducing this new word into the mainstream. That’s a sensitive compartmented information facility for reviewing secure and/or illegally obtained documents.
Prenounce: Our president likes to take credit for things that happened before he took office. And now we have a word for that.
Bro culture: If your startup has a diversity problem, then it may be related to its “bro culture” which favors young men, often those who sound solid but who are often inexperienced, cocky and hard to work with.
Posted On March 21st, 2017 by Crowded Ocean
Incidental collection: in case you missed this tantalizing term brought to you by the House Intelligence Committee hearings, when the NSA wire-taps a foreigner or U.S. citizen suspected of terrorist activities, they can sometimes collect other communications. That’s NSA-speak now entering the mainstream.
Explainable AI: a field of research that, according to the Wall Street Journal, can explain in natural language how a machine learning model arrives at a logical decision.
Filter bubble: According to the New York Times, “the filter bubble describes the tendency of social networks like Facebook and Twitter to lock users into personalized feedback loops, each with its own news sources, cultural touchstones and political inclinations.”
Echo boomer: Census data indicates that there are more 26-year-olds in the U.S. than people of any other age. Like the baby boomer generation, the economic, retail and labor force of that large number of our population are expected to “echo” the influence of the prior, very large baby boomer generation.
Gaymoji: No explanation required. But if you must, check out this New York Times profile.
Posted On February 22nd, 2017 by Crowded Ocean
Barista robots: an automated coffee shop called CafeX in San Francisco (of course) is now using robots as baristas.
Artisanal infographics: the always popular, chart- and icon-heavy infographic is a popular marketing tools for brands around the globe. But instead of using data visualization tools or highend graphic design software to create them, some designers are pursuing the hand-crafted look. In other words, don’t throw out that napkin that captured your original genius. It might just work as an “artisanal infographic”
Live chilling: the new way to hang out for the so-called Generation Z, ages early teens to early 20’s, is using live chat applications (Facebook Messenger, etc.) to communicate with a group of friends without ever leaving the house.
Posted On January 30th, 2017 by Crowded Ocean
The frightful five: That’s the behemoth tech giants that dominate globally: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Alphabet (Google) and Microsoft.
Mini-IPO: When a hot robot startup raised a small amount of money, and from an uncommon source, it was called a mini IPO.
“The Pipeline Effect” When companies put women on boards, more women make it into leadership roles at that company.
Phygital: a blend of physical and digital marketing has been dubbed “phygital” and (puhleeze) let’s see if this one sticks.
“The adjacent possible” A new mathematical model that describes how innovation arises is described in an article published January 13, 2017 in The Technology Review as “The adjacent possible is all those things—ideas, words, songs, molecules, genomes, technologies and so on—that are one step away from what actually exists. It connects the actual realization of a particular phenomenon and the space of unexplored possibilities.”