Breaking your product

When you should break your product

I’m a tough critic when it comes to products. I usually compare products to what I know technology is capable of, not what the competition is doing. Every product can be made better.

AmEx makes buying as easy as tweeting

Starting today, cardholders can sync their American Express card to their Twitter account and provide shipping information once, and then they can tweet to make select purchases.

Receipts

Replacing the humble receipt

You know that little slip of paper you get at the end of a transaction? It’s printed on flimsy paper. It gets crumpled. It gets lost. Well, it’s long overdue for a upgrade.

Belkin’s WeMo home automation fails to dazzle

Home automation technologies have been promising to change our lives for decades. Finally, Wi-Fi and mobile devices may be able to deliver on that promise. But Belkin’s WeMo line of products shows we’re not there yet.

Give the gift of good design

Many a Christmas morning is ruined by poorly designed consumer electronics.

Virgin America pivot

Virgin America CEO navigates turbulent skies

The media has had some doom and gloom stories surrounding Virgin America, Silicon Valley’s startup airline, recently. I spoke with CEO David Cush about the airline’s latest pivot and the future of the company.

Amazon locker

Who’s afraid of Amazon locker?

Online retail has a last-mile problem for many city dwellers: They’re often not home when the UPS or FedEx driver chooses to show up. Amazon is solving the problem with Amazon locker, automated lockers installed in dense urban areas.

Failed IPO and how to recover Eric Kuhn of Varsity Books and FoundersCard

Learning from a failed IPO

Shortly after the company’s IPO, the stock tanked. Marketing costs were threatening the very existence of the company. Wall Street had pretty much written it off.

returning the iPad mini

Why I’m returning my iPad mini

I thought the mini would fill a small niche in my tablet needs, such as controlling my TiVo or Sonos system. So I bought the low-end 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad mini. I was wrong.

Showrooming

Amazon’s advantage in holiday gift giving

Showrooming is when you visit a retail store to see a product and then use your mobile apps to check prices online and place an order. The practice is making Amazon a lot of money.

Big data will help maps get smarter

Google and Apple: The bridge is closed, but drive over it anyway

Bay Area residents discovered this weekend that the San Mateo Bridge, one of several that crosses San Francisco Bay, was closed. But if they listened to directions from Google, Apple, Microsoft,or Mapquest, they would have been advised to cross it anyway.

City Target opens in San Francisco

Tech-savvy retailer Target comes to tech-savvy San Francisco

City Target is now open at the Metreon in San Francisco. A look around last night and the shelves were already running low on milk, bread, eggs, hummus, toilet paper, and tampons. (Hey, I’m comprehensive in my market research.)

Google Street View of Kuleto's

A quick fix for an iOS map problem

As Apple plays catch up to Google Maps, there is one quick fix it can make: Let users make minor corrections and publish them immediately.