Ignored by venture capitalists, Pebble smartwatch has raised over $4M on Kickstarter and counting

VCs always have a war story about the one that got away. Time to add the Pebble smartwatch to the list. The creators of the Pebble had some initial success raising $375,000 in angel funding. But when it come to raise a series A, Pebble was roundly rejected by venture capital firms that didn’t want to risk betting on a hardware firm. So the Pebble team put their project on Kickstarter, where they have now raised $4.2 million and counting without giving away any equity in their company.

Gogobot hires SRI scientist to add artificial intelligence to its travel apps (exclusive)

I recently spent a few days with my family at a ski lodge in the Sierras. While we were there, we noticed a young French couple who spent the vast majority of their time sitting by the fire, staring at a tiny Android tablet, flipping through a guidebook, and making notes in a paper calendar. For two or three days, while we were out skiing through the sublimely silent woods, learning how to snowboard on the bunny slope, and sitting in the hot tub underneath the misty evening skies, these two sad, beautiful foreigners were sitting in the lodge, trying to plan their trip.

Five tips for tapping prosumers

Everyone’s looking for a competitive edge both personally and professionally. Today, in countless cases, that edge comes in the form of a mobile app for iPad or iPhone and the use cases are, in many instances, fluid between the once-distinct business and personal realms of our lives. App developers don’t need to set out targeting users who self-define as “prosumers”, since many popular apps are adopted for personal convenience and are so relevant that they become necessities professionally as well.

Are we in a startup bubble?

Have you noticed how many online startups there are again recently? While it’s great for overall innovation, it can create a challenging ecosystem for budding entrepreneurs. I’ve spent more time than I care to remember, evaluating various businesses, looking at models, and seeking opportunities where I could compete. Invariably no matter what idea I find and no matter how niche or arcane it is, it’s likely there are already more than a handful of competitors already in the space.

Crowd computing taps artificial intelligence to revolutionize the power of our collective brains

The two hundred people packed into a small screening room in Midtown Manhattan on a recent Tuesday night made quite a throng. Engineers, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs sipped Sam Adams and nibbled bits from a fruit plate. They were there to learn about CrowdControl, a New York startup that is melding human workers with artificial intelligence to create the next paradigm for global labor: crowd computing.