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Expert Thoughts

Expert Thoughts

Forget Silicon Valley: Tech CEO Explains What’s So Great About New York

Shafqat Islam

In the 19th century, immigrants would come to New York City with the dream of finding a city where the streets were paved with gold. While precious metals may not actually line these streets, there is no doubt that it’s a city where dreams are made. In 2010, when we moved NewsCred’s headquarters from Switzerland to the US, we had to decide where to settle down. San Francisco was the obvious answer. But we ended up choosing New York, and I’m always happy to explain the many reasons we’ve chosen to call this city home. Read More

Expert Thoughts

The 21st Century Product Launch: Why It’s Never Been Better To Be a Creator

(Pixabay.com)

Nearly everything related to launching a product online has changed in the last decade, and it’s continuing to change at a very rapid pace. Just a few years ago, it was incredibly difficult to launch and sell a product—any product—directly to your audience. Building a mailing list, retargeting, and setting up auto-responders was essentially impossible because of the cost and effort involved. Read More

Expert Thoughts

If You Build It They Won’t Come: What’s Wrong With Tech’s Magical Thinking

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 9.37.18 AM

There’s a lot in this world we don’t know. You could get hit by a flaming toilet seat from outer space tomorrow and die. You don’t know. The future is one of those things we don’t know. So if you and I can agree that we don’t know what the future holds, why do so many of us in the world of tech believe the myth of, “If you build it, they will come” and not Walt Disney’s far superior, “If you dream it, you can do it”?

Fact: You could have the best idea ever and nobody may ever know. And that lack of awareness has nothing to do with competition. That’s just an excuse. And there are a million excuses. You know what the biggest product produced by tech companies is? Excuses.  Blame the developers. Blame the PR firm. Blame the intern. Read More

Expert Thoughts

Next Gen Warfare: Hackers, Not the Government, Will Fight Our Next Big War

(ukraineinvestigation.com)

War is raging in Crimea. It is marked by all characteristics we have come to expect of modern warfare. Irregular troops, in and out of uniform, conducting operations in urban centers, supported by technology, televised all over the world in full HD. On top, is waged a layer of what we’ve come to know as cyberwar. A relatively new domain of warfare, its tactics are more likely to be borrowed from the hacker community than from militaries of old. The theft and manipulation of information trump destroying targets.

What’s most interesting, however, has less to do with how, and much more to do with who is fighting this cyberwar. Read More

Expert Thoughts

5 Celebrities I Met While Interning at Rap Genius

(Facebook)

Earlier this year, I took a leave of absence from college to go work for the cofounder of Rap Genius, Mahbod Moghadam. I lived with him in his house — the “Rap Genius Mansion,” I started calling it — in Bel-Air, Los Angeles, for a month.

There are a lot of negative misconceptions about Rap Genius, but there’s a reason why they have a $15 million Series A investment and the backing of some of the biggest names in the game. They’ve done an incredible job of putting together a collection of the most passionate, talented startup people that I’ve ever been around. Seeing the way that its three cofounders — Tom Lehman, Ilan Zechory, and Mahbod — moved helped me learn in a way that college never could. This is a very serious company with a very bright future ahead of them, and I was incredibly fortunate to be a small part of it. Read More

Expert Thoughts

How To Cope With The Shit Trolls Say Behind That Cozy Veil Of Online Anonymity

Ms. Bertliet reading trolls' mean comments in her "Shit Trolls Say" video (Screengrab: YouTube)

In general, I don’t mind dissenting opinions because I understand that aiming or expecting to please everyone would be foolish. Aristotle said: “To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” As a writer whose work is often extremely personal and arguably quite provocative, I would even concede that I invite disapproval and ire to a certain extent. Read More