dylan tweney

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The hidden costs of the on-demand economy

Despite what economists like to think, people do not always make rational economic decisions. That’s nowhere more apparent than in today’s service-centric, app-based consumer Internet. The fact is, people are willing to pay more — often a lot more — for services that are pleasant to use. Uber, Zipcar, Munchery, and Washio all prove the […]

Press:Here August 23: Munchery, Tripping.com, and HackerOne

The lovely folks at NBC Bay Area invited me back to Press:Here, Silicon Valley’s answer to “Meet the Press.” I was on the show on Sunday with Laura Mandaro and host Scott McGrew. We talked for about 8 minutes apiece with the founders of Munchery, Tripping.com, and HackerOne. Here are the three video segments! Tri […]

How Tile went from crowdfunding to 2M units sold in two years

Tile makes a deceptively simple gadget: a rounded square of white plastic, about the size of a poker chip, that you can clip to your key ring, slip into a backpack, or stick onto any other object you want to keep track of. Today the company is releasing a new version of its gadget and […]

CCTV reporter Mark Niu interviewed me and included my somewhat skeptical take on Google’s new corporate structure — Alphabet Inc. — in his report this week. My hair is doing some weird thing but I think other than that I make some kind of sense.

My take, in a nutshell: The new structure, so far, is largely symbolic. Yes, it clarifies who is in charge of each division and sets up the succession plans much more clearly. But at the end of the day, it’s the same company, with the same components. As a result, I think this is just the first of several steps, which might include spinoffs down the line.

How Trello and couples counseling helped make this startup a self-managing success

Jessica Mah has been starting companies since she was 13. As a teenager, she built websites for small businesses, and then created a company that managed online services for companies. It was pulling in $100,000 in revenue before she was even in high school, Mah said. So after finishing an undergraduate degree in computer science […]

How Matt Mullenweg built WordPress into a giant platform powering 1/4 of the Web (podcast)

In this week’s podcast, I talk with Matt Mullenweg, who created WordPress as an open-source blogging platform twelve years ago and turned it into a parallel, for-profit company called Automattic ten years ago. [Click the image above to hear the MP3 of this podcast.] Since then, WordPress has grown into one of the most successful […]

Social media will ‘trump’ tonight’s GOP debate winner

If you’re like most politically minded Americans, you’ll be grabbing some popcorn and sitting down to watch the first Republican debate tonight at 9pm Eastern. With ten contenders, most of whom are masters at the art of making provocative and outrageous statements, and all of whom are desperate for the precious attention and donor dollars […]

Microsoft strikes a humble pose, and hopes to earn a shot at redemption

With the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft is telegraphing an attitude one doesn’t often see in companies worth hundreds of billions of dollars: Humility.

Sometimes 40-year-old technology actually is the best tool for the job

Technology changes far slower than we usually think it does. In fact, a pretty-good technology that achieves widespread acceptance has a way of sticking around for years, even decades. Just look at how many people still listen to AM radio, buy CDs at concerts, or drive cars with internal combustion engines and four wheels. Or, […]

How Twilio is building a software platform to refresh a 150-year-old technology (podcast)

This episode of the What to Think podcast is sponsored by Pivotal Tracker. In this week’s podcast, we kick off an occasional series of interviews with platform builders: the founders and inventors who are creating software platforms upon which others are able to build things. We’re calling this series “Innovation Engines.” Our guest this week […]

You won’t believe how honest this CEO is about blowing $185M

Quirky might seem like one of the more extreme examples of Silicon Valley excess in recent years, but its recent pivot — and the way its CEO handled it — is a rare example of honesty and transparency. The startup’s premise was inspired, if a little idealistic: Take inventors’ half-baked ideas, help them turn those ideas […]

3 takeaways from 3 big tech outages: NYSE, United, and WSJ

  What a day! Yesterday morning, the New York Stock Exchange went offline, United Airlines grounded its entire fleet, and the Wall Street Journal website went offline. All three outages were related to technical glitches of one sort or another. And on top of that, the Chinese stock market tanked. That wasn’t a technical fault, […]

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