The (New) Robot Reality

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Last week Amazon revealed how it is using robots. Did the company divulge a secret lab where humanoid machines made out of steel are slowly plotting to take over the planet? Hardly. The 320-pound, orange automatons from Kiva Systems (which Amazon acquired in 2012) move high, heavy shelves full of products closer to human employees, speeding up the time it takes to dispatch goods to customers.

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7 new beautifully designed objects

I love beautiful, elegant and well designed things. I look for objects that are not only aesthetically pleasing but are adroit in their ability to conduct the task at hand with minimal fuss and utmost simplicity. Finding such things that combine all these qualities is very rare, but when I do, I end up saving them for revisiting them at a later date — perhaps to buy and test them out. These are some of the objects that are on my “try them” list. If you have (or anyone you know) have owned them and would like to share your thoughts, please drop me a note. 

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David & Mr. Bangs

This was a particularly hard week. Long. Cold. Rainy. Exhausting. A lot of sleepless nights. Nervous energy that sapped the body of its own spark. Four board meetings. More meetings and meetings. Some exciting times hanging out with friends, old, new and newest. The whole week was like a whirligig. There are holiday parties everywhere. I don’t want to attend them. I just wanted to sit at home, read a good book, listen to Miles and just let my mind wander. 

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Stunning Stills from EyeTime 2014

A few months ago, Jeff Kenoff got in touch, wondering if I would judge at the EyeTime 2014, a Student Photography Competition in NYC. Unfortunately, due to prior commitments and time constraint I couldn’t do the judging for the event. Some of my friends like John Biggs of Techcrunch, Mark Kawano and Cole Rise, however ended up being judges on the competition. The talent at the competition was staggering. Just look at some of the photos that are in the winner’s circle and you will know what I mean. EyeTime 2014 is a contest to publicly promote the research, exploration and investigation currently happening amongst today’s emerging talent. For my money, Architecture in Limbo by Ben Tynegate is hauntingly beautiful! 

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Veniam wants to move the internet

joaobarrosJon Callaghan, who sits on my board and has been my coach in the venture world, often says that the best opportunities are the ones that you know when you see them. His words were ringing in my ears when I first met João Barros for coffee in San Francisco in June of this year. João is the co-founder and chief executive of Veniam, the newest member of True Ventures’ family. True is leading a $4.9 million Series A round of funding with participation from Union Square Ventures, Cane Ventures, and a few private investors. I represent True on the board of directors.

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