In this age of recurring services, can’t we just get the things we use — the things we want — without having to think about it every time? For startups, it’s ideal when consumers think this way because it means not having to keep “selling” to those customers over and over and over again. Instead, convince the buyers once … and keep them for years. That’s where “Mass SaaS” comes in. MORE
One of the most active and fastest growing open source big data cluster computing projects is Apache Spark, which was originally developed at U.C. Berkeley’s AMPLab and is now used by internet giants and other companies around the world. Including, as announced most recently, IBM. In this Q&A with Spark inventor Matei Zaharia on the heels of the recent Spark Summit, we cover the difference between Hadoop MapReduce and Spark; what are the ingredients of a successful open source project; and the story of how Spark almost helped a friend win a million dollars. MORE
Investing to make a return both financial AND societal isn’t new, but the opportunities to reach and build businesses in communities that have been underserved by tech are larger than ever. Do core business principles change at all? But then how does impact get measured? And what happens when you connect more communities to tech thanks to mobile phones? MORE
It turns out that 95% of African American hair salons have no retail capability due to minimal credit and cash balances. Basically, they cannot afford to keep inventory.
Enter Diishan Imira and his company, Mayvenn. Diishan aptly named the company after the Yiddish word meaning “trusted expert”. After studying the hair market and its byzantine supply chain for years, Diishan figured out how to radically improve the hair buying experience by empowering the trusted experts in the delivery chain — the hairdressers — to recommend, offer, and deliver the right products to their customers in the most convenient way possible. They do this by ingeniously creating individual mobile e-commerce sites for each hairdresser where they can sell goods without any inventory cost or risk… The early results have been spectacular. In less than two years, Mayvenn has signed up over 26,000 hair stylists.
The most successful of these have more than doubled their income via Mayvenn while dramatically improving life for their customers. Even more exciting, Mayvenn’s methods and platform can easily be extended to trusted experts in many fields, enabling gifted craftspeople to become economically empowered. MORE
We’ve shared a lot of data about whether and why ‘this time is different’. But beyond that, why is the tech market opportunity larger than any time in history (no, really!)? One word: mobile. a16z’s Benedict Evans shares just how and why mobile changes everything in this update to his presentation on Mobile Eating the World. [watch talk track or view as slides only] MORE