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Robert Scoble
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Join us! Here's the schedule for tomorrow at "Tech on Deck" and the intro video.

Join our event at and the main page at

All times Pacific Time.

Starts tomorrow at 7:45 a.m. Pacific Time (we'll put up a recording too). Scott Jordan, Thomas Hawk, and me will kick things off.
8 a.m. The changing world of media. Samir Arora, CEO of Mode. Jim Louderback, founder of Revision3. Moshe Hogeg, founder of The Official Yo App, Mobli, and EyeIn.

1 p.m. Gary Shapiro, CEO of Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Disruption and VR.

5:30 p.m. Roem A Baur, Independent Recording and Touring Artist (AKA "a musician"). He will be joined by Claire Parr at 6 p.m. Her firm produces the music for Southwest Airlines, Aloft Hotels, and quite a few concerts and brands. Music Disruption.

7 p.m. Rowan Trollope. Senior Vice President, Collaboration, Cisco. Then fun with Philip Nelson and all of us.

We will be doing a variety of unscheduled things during the day, too. There are a ton of tech industry leaders in town, so drop by early and often.

This is brought to you by Rackspace Hosting, SCOTTEVEST from TEC, NewTek, and Cisco. Live from Sun Valley, Idaho, where the Allen and Company event is going on.
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Reprinted: Life and Tech #6: Dubai and emerging markets set to roar

This email newsletter was sent out May 14th. Every week I email out a newsletter named "Life and Tech." You can subscribe here: 

Dubai is just like many other cities in the world: its government wants to make it a startup hub and is investing tons into making that happen (it is building several entrepreneurial cities, one aimed at Internet, another at healthcare). But there’s a bit of difference between Dubai and, say, Shanghai or Singapore: it has the tallest building in the world, the busiest airport, the nicest hotel, an indoor skiing resort, and an entrepreneurial set of leaders who have a “why not” attitude. Plus the 2020 World Fair will be here.

While there to speak at Terrapin’s Cards & Payments confab I met with many business leaders. Restauranteurs, a guy who is building skateparks and designing events for RedBull, another who builds very expensive Swiss watches, some tech geeks, startup leaders, people who are running another huge conference. and even visited one MIT fellow’s home where he showed me his extensive art collection. 

Immediately you pick up on how new this ecosystem is. Dubai residents point to pride the fact that almost the entire city has been built in the past 15 years. Yes, we talked about the fact that much of it was built with slave, at worst, or indentured servants, at best, labor. But those that focus on the negatives will miss that this city is the Las Vegas of the Middle East now. Do we care that the mob built Las Vegas? No. And neither will the world concern itself too much with human rights, although one woman executive I met who works in an ad agency told me it’s much tougher to be a female executive there than in other places in the world. “Why do you stay?” I asked. She said she loved the entrepreneurial attitude, the easier way of life, and the place Dubai is going to take on the world’s stage. All as she looked lovingly at the stunning skyline (she took me to an opening of a new posh restaurant on the 49th floor of one of the newer buildings). This is a place that is undergoing stunning change and she told me she is “leaning in” and actively working to change the culture and she sees a huge opportunity here (she sees Sheryl Sandberg as a huge role model for her and other new business executives in the Middle East). Leaders aren’t made in easy conditions and Dubai is forging new leaders in not just tough cultural conditions but explosive growth and markets.

One thing I picked up on is how few really innovative startups there are. But everyone wants them. I met with a venture capitalist and he listed the kinds of things he’s looking to invest in. Most will be great businesses but I didn’t hear anything really forward thinking like, say, a media company for Oculus Rift, or robots, or 3D printers, or any number of bleeding-edge IoT startups that you will see at Web Summit in Dublin. The “coolest” startup is one that does augmented reality from children’s books, and in the comments under the video I did of him you’ll see that the concept is similar to others who came before him. Which is what I hear from many here: the ecosystem isn’t ready to take real innovation risk. That will be built over the next decade. Investors here want to see entrepreneurs copy tried-and-true concepts from the West and maybe China and bring them to the Middle East. 

Uber is available here, but so is a local copy, , which is finding a nice market in conservative Saudi Arabia, where women aren’t allowed to drive. They outfitted cars with baby seats and are winning business from Uber because they more quickly adopt to local tastes and needs. That said, Uber isn’t your normal startup. While I was in Dubai it announced it was starting to take cash in India, which shows it, too, can change to serve local needs (many both in India and in the Middle East don’t use credit cards, I’ve learned, which makes using services like Uber difficult). Uber’s announcement: 

How does Dubai get to the place where it can really innovate? It has a lack of programming talent. Some of that could be lured here with the wonderful lifestyle and the economic riches of the nearby oil riches. Dubai, itself, doesn’t have much of an oil wealth, but does benefit from having major wealth nearby in Saudi Arabia and other cities. That is one reason why Dubai is more liberal (ex pats here say they get away with much of the same behavior that you would in Western cities, while that wouldn’t be true in nearby Saudi Arabia. Women here are often dressed like they do in San Francisco or San Antonio. Yes, you do see the more conservative ones, but Dubai has built an oasis that’s open for business to the rest of the world.

Which brings me to Obi’s founder, Neeraj Chauhan, . I met with him in Dubai as he traveled back from Africa. Obi is one of a bunch of new mobile companies (the most famous of which is Xaomi, run by former Google exec Hugo Barra) that are going after the developing market. 

This is where the new mobile wars are being fought. Let’s be honest. Apple already has the market share in the United States it’s going to get and the profits, too. But in places where Nokia once ruled the markets are wide open for disruption. He told me that in India alone a million smart phones are sold every day. Get one percent of that market and you have a nice business. 

He told me the role of Dubai, with its airport that is reachable from the rest of the world. You can take a non-stop here from San Francisco, thanks to Emirates airlines. He says that Dubai is the place you go to do business and that things like its 100,000 attendee GITEX tech show, in October, are the reasons why (he was here for a health tech conference last week). 

He says the markets are getting richer, which means they are looking for more upscale mobile phones. He’s about to introduce a $200 phone that is being designed in San Francisco. He’s making a big deal about that “designed in San Francisco, priced for the rest of the world.” Most people in the emerging markets he serves can’t yet afford the $1,000 iPhone 6+ I am holding. 

Anyway, where I’m going is the smart money in Silicon Valley travels to emerging markets. Look at the moves Zuckerberg has made at Facebook. Nearly everyone in this region uses WhatsApp. Look for more, many more, to follow his lead. Can’t think of a better place to start than Dubai. It’s ready to roar.

Oh, and when will we see a global brand come not from Silicon Valley or China, but from the emerging markets themselves. Payments provider Mpeso is dominant in places like Africa. It is the one I keep hearing about, so wonder if it will escape to the richer countries? Probably thanks to immigrants who are sending money back home.


While we are talking about mobile phones, did you miss how Samsung and other vendors are getting squeezed?

Apple is moving in on their turf on high end (which is where most of the profits are) and companies like Xiomi, Meizu, Obi are commoditizing nice phones on low end. Meizu is announcing a new phone in India here: Android is dominant in these emerging markets. But Samsung’s profits will likely continued to get squeezed. Why? On high end iPhones still have the best developer support and rich people around the world tell me that is why they are on iPhones (90% of the 200,000 customers of Coachella, world’s most influential music festival, are on iPhones). Even in Dubai, a market where most people have Android-based devices, the few developers I met were carrying iPhones. Why? They are hoping to get to the rich markets first. 

I sure am glad I don’t work at Samsung. I don’t see how it escapes this squeeze anytime soon. Better hardware isn’t going to change the market dynamic in a big way. 


In Dubai I had quite a few fun experiences in between meeting tons of entrepreneurs and speaking at two conferences. Some of the people I met (I list them here so you can build relationships with some of the leaders in Dubai and the Middle East).

Microsoft evangelist Mohamed El Shaekh, who took me around the world’s most luxurious hotel: 

Ritesh Tilani, who is a startup founder, working on a system to make airports more efficient with Bluetooth Smart Low Energy Beacons. He joined us on a trip around the waterfront in a yacht:

Met with journalist Farrukh Naeem Qadri and we talked about the startup ecosystem. Thanks for his help with this newsletter’s content. 

Rintu Mathew who is helping plan the 100,000 attendee tech conference GITEX. The details on the conference are at 

Dany D-fine showed me the coolest app I saw come out of the region: Colorbug, which augments reality and helps kids do something other than just stare at their iPad’s screen:

Akos Balogh traveled to Dubai to show me his new iPhone frame, Moscase, (looks like a case, but is packed with sensors and with a replaceable plate). Proves innovation isn’t done yet in the case market. 

Futurist David Passiak introduced me to tons of people and took me “dune bashing.” (Think rollercoaster on sand dunes, tons of fun).

Tina Yd came along. She runs a startup incubator in Dubai. 

Brad Kr came to promote skateboard events years ago and never left. Now he designs skateparks for the royalty here and does marketing work for RedBull and others. He was joined with Raj Kotecha, who has started several businesses, is a DJ in town, and took me to the exclusive 360 club that’s hard to get into. (Get it, I do 360 video, so had to go to the 360 club? Thought not. Heh. ). 

Former NextWeb CEO Zee Kane was one of the group that joined us on Sunday for a spectacular lunch. This shows why Dubai is attracting tourists from all over the world. The food is stunning and continued to be stunning during my entire trip. Others that joined? Obi’s Managing Director Amit Rupchandani, and Ahmed Sabti, who is trying to build a new social network. I gave him some ideas about how he could possibly have some success in that crowded space. 

Visited Sultan Al Qassemi. He’s a fellow at MIT Media Lab and has a spectacular modern art collection. I wish I had more time with him, definitely the most interesting person I met and quite outspoken, too. I hear he was first person to be verified by Twitter in the Middle East, too. 

Dominik Mazur, CEO of Camfind, showed me his visual search engine. I used it on Maximilian Buser’s wrist. He makes art watches in Switzerland that cost $95,000 and up. We talked about Apple Watch and he says it’s having zero effect on his business, but that he expects that Swiss manufacturers in the $300 to $1,500 price range will be hit hard by Apple. 

Whew, what a lot of meetings and fun to fit into four days. Thanks everyone who came out and taught me about the region.


I love traveling with my ScottEVest pants. It’s funny, but I note here that I like the pants better than the vest that gave ScottEVest its name. The pockets, which are extra long, keep my passport, wallet, and iPhone 6+ safe. I can’t imagine traveling without them anymore.


A new thing the Apple Watch does? Keeps you from being embarrassed on stage. I was being interviewed by Plamen Russev when my phone rang. Yeah, I know, I should have had it in airplane mode but I forgot. The watch let me reject the call in less than a second which means the phone didn’t even have a chance to ring. Plamen does the quite successful WEBIT series of conferences. Based on the quality of the audience he had here in Dubai I will try to visit his bigger events around the world.



I read all my email at and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook at Please let me know how I, or Rackspace, the leading managed cloud company, can be of service to you. Thanks too to Hugh Macleod and team for helping me do art each week for this. We love his work!

Please pass this newsletter around. If you have gotten it, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:
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Reprinted: Life and Tech #8: another look at Google Glass.

This email newsletter was sent out May 28th. Every week I email out a newsletter named "Life and Tech." You can subscribe here: Since this newsletter was sent out, rumors have started swirling that Google Glass will be reintroduced soon as an "Enterprise Edition." This makes sense, since there is demand for these things from people like doctors, trainers, or other enterprise workers that don't care about how they mess with people's social contract. Anyway, read on...


Another look at Google Glass

When watching something like this morning’s Google IO keynote I think “what do people who are trying to build companies need to know?” Then “what do I care about?”

First, let’s get the “what do I care about” out of the way first?

Earlier this week, for CNET, I did an editorial about where Google Glass went wrong. CNET also covered what went wrong in a separate article: Hint, we didn’t see anything about the future of Google Glass today at Google IO (which I think is a real bummer, but understandable since Google Glass has a black eye right now). Makes me sad when thinking about the startups and enterprises that bet on Glass (Boeing and a few hospitals are still using them). Instead Google took us into a world of VR, showing off Expeditions and a new VR camera that most of us can neither afford, nor use. The editorial got a lot of praise, though, so you might enjoy reading my wrapup of my experience wearing Google Glass for more than a year.

The two things that I have seen that interest me the most are Google Now on Tap, which is even more contextual than before. They showed listening to a song by Skrillex and asking it “what is his real name?” and it understood and gave the right answer. Very cool.

The other thing that was most important to me, was the development of an Internet of Things API named Brillo. I have to get a closer look at this but it looks like it could really help open up new kinds of devices to integrate with Google’s other efforts. Will Apple have its own answer in a few weeks at its developer conference? Will both work together? These are things we’ll have to work out:…/google-project-brillo-iot-google-…

For businesses, the new Inbox probably is something you should check out. It now works with Gmail and Google’s Apps.…/google-opens-inbox-to-everyone-ad…/ I’ve moved my Gmail into there and have been using it since it came out. It takes some time to get used to, but overall saves me a lot of time because of Gmail’s filters. It filters out stuff like social email, or promotional email, into tabs, titled such, which keeps my inbox cleaner. I can’t use email clients that don’t support this.

Other stuff that’s worthy to consider:

Google announces Expeditions, VR field trips for schools. Not sure this translates to businesses, but I can see something like this becoming a big deal for travel industry:…/hey-kids-google-wants-you-to-g…

Google announces Google Photos. More and more I’m using automatic uploads on Flickr, Google+, Facebook, and Dropbox. Google has better algorithms to make your photos look better and obviously has better search features. I need a week with this before I really can say it’s good or not, but if you are a photographer you should try it out when available (as of this afternoon I still couldn’t get it on my iPhone):…/google-photos-launches-with-unlim…/

Google launches Polymer. Those of you with development teams building both web and mobile versions probably should look into this. Makes it easier to build apps for both with common look and feel:…/google-launches-polymer-1-0-lets-…/

Google announces new Android M. The latest Android, lots of little fixes.:…/with-android-m-google-makes-yo…


Last night I met with Yallo’s CEO, Yosi Taguri, who is building a new phone dialer app from his Tel Aviv offices. It’s gotten note on Android because it adds a bunch of features to the phone. Coming in a month to iOS.

Off camera we talked about development. He carries five mobile phones, and pointed out what was wrong with all of his Android devices. Matches what I hear from other CEOs. They might be forced to use Android because of the market size, but like using iOS better. In his case it’s worse because Android is more open, so lets him do more things.

He decided to develop on Android first, though, for a few reasons:

1. The market is much bigger, especially in developing world, where he thinks there’s more demand for better phone features.

2. His development team ships updates every few hours. On Apple that’s impossible to do because Apple wants to check out each update, a process that can take longer than two weeks. On Android that’s just how it works and updates get pushed right to end users immediately. This let him work with customers to fix bugs, and add features, quicker. Now that he has a great product that people love, he’s making an iOS version.

We also talked about Facebook’s new UI that it was testing. I saw it only for a few hours on May 24th here: Turns out that it’s using a new A/B testing methodology, described here “React Native: Facebook takes another stab at fixing app development.”…/facebook-app-developers-react-na…/ Yosi raved about this, saying it gives developers, like him, build one UI, test it, and deliver it to both Android and iOS. He says the engineering work Facebook is doing here shouldn’t be missed.


Speaking of Facebook, on Monday I wrote up 21 tips and it got shared 3,723 times as of this afternoon: I still think Facebook is the most important social network, even though I post my newsletter to LinkedIn and still interact a lot on Twitter. If you want Facebook to work well for you, try using these tips. Particularly send these to your social media team. They will help you get more reach and quality engagement, not to mention your inbound feed will be better so you’ll see news and information that actually might matter to you faster. Translation: fewer cat photos and memes. smile emoticon


Speaking of development, this week I met with TestFairy’s CEO (that video will be up next week). What is that? It’s a new way to test apps. Instead of using Apple’s TestFlight to give apps out to early beta users, you use TestFairy. This then records everything users are doing. Keep in mind this is only for beta testing, not for production users. But this lets developers see how testers are actually using their apps, and when there’s a problem, you can see exactly what’s going on. Another company, Lookback, got hot on Product Hunt this week, because it lets developers share a stream off of an app, which lets them demo apps to new users. Good stuff for developers to consider.


Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Report shipped this week. She’s a venture capitalist at KPCB and her report is always well read by most insiders. Here I tear through the 200 slides and analyze them.


Media shakeup. I’m sad that GigaOm has been sold off, in pieces. Doubt that will ever be a big player again. The shocker, this week, though, is that the Verge bought Recode, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher’s new company. The other shocker is how hard it is to build audiences these days. Underscores the effort that Rackspace pays me and Rocky to float around the world looking for the future and recording it for you. I’m off to meet with Plug and Play’s founder, Saeed Amidi, right now. More on that on Facebook later. Why is he important? His incubator has funded hundreds of startups. Then, next week, I’m hanging out with Innovation Endeavors, Eric Schmidt’s VC firm.


I read all my email at and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook at Please let me know how I, or Rackspace, the leading managed cloud company, can be of service to you. Thanks too to Hugh Macleod and team for helping me do art each week for this. We love his work!

Please pass this newsletter around. If you have gotten it, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:
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The big debate: VR vs AR

Every week I email out a newsletter named "Life and Tech." About what I'm seeing as I visit innovators around the world. You can subscribe here, this one was sent out June 11th.


Disclaimer: I love Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), both are highly interesting to me. If they aren’t interesting to you, skip the first section of this newsletter and head down to the future of the cloud section.

(I almost made this about Apple, but I couldn’t bring myself to talk about its music service. Instead I’ll send you to Bob Lefsetz, music industry analyst, who says “it’s toast:” said, the new Watch OS is nice, but won’t matter to most of us until later this year when it ships).


Last night on stage at the AWE conference in Santa Clara I was part of a raucous debate: AR vs VR.

I argued that in 2016 the world belongs to VR. But lets define terms. VR, to me, is instantiated in a modern set of products from Oculus Rift, Valve Vive, Samsung Gear VR, Merge VR, to Google Cardboard. In these products you do NOT see the real world. Or, if you do, it’s through a camera that is then mixed into a virtual image. For instance, see this demo of Occipital’s new Structure Sensor: Here a viewer wears a device that ONLY shows him virtual images, and you can’t see through it to the real world.

AR on the other hand, means that I look through screens to the real world. So, I see virtual items overlaid on the real world. I don’t believe that AR will be widely used in 2016 by consumers. For a good look at the state of the art of AR systems, watch my video where you see ODG’s latest R7 glasses. These are quite stunning, more on them in a second.

The reason consumers will largely go with VR in 2016 and not AR comes down to two things:

1. Emotional tie. When I watched people coming out of Oculus Rift demos at CES they said things like “holy shit” or “wow” as they exited. People are getting close to that kind of emotionality when they see things like ODG and Hololens, but not at the same rate. Why? Oculus is highly immersive. It gave me vertigo. In fact, one of the fears of these things is that they will give you motion sickness. But a product that can make you feel like you’re about to die because of a fall, or make you ill from motion, has an upside: you’ll tell all your friends to come over and check it out.

2. Price. ODG’s glasses are $2,700. Hololens? Don’t yet know. But even Oculus is going to be hard for consumers to swallow (a complete system is $1,500). Serious video gamers, though, are used to paying a lot for their hobby, and, since Oculus and Valve’s VR systems are going to be aimed at those people, they probably will do quite well.

3. Content. Let’s be honest, it’s a lot easier to create content for a VR system than overlay a virtual image on top of the real world and have it be compelling. I know lots of people are working at companies like Meta, ODG, Microsoft Hololens, and Magic Leap to bring a compelling use case to AR, but they just aren’t ready yet.

4. Technology expectations. Users will put up with a LOT of latency on head tracking units where they won’t put up with the same latency on AR systems. How do I know that? Meta’s CTO told me that. Getting latency down (the lag you’ll feel when you move your head around) will be a much harder technological challenge, which means the price will remain fairly high until Moore’s law flips a couple more times).

Now, that said, if you extend the timeline beyond 2016, then I agree that AR starts to be very attractive and, I assume, all the VR systems will merge into some form of AR system anyway.

Businesses will want to get into AR systems sooner, I believe. ODG is already being used by surgeons and mechanics, amongst other enterprise users, to do various tasks. Those use cases don’t mind the $2,700 price point and other limitations.

Who is winning already? Mobile-based AR, with companies like Blippar. Here I interview Blippar’s CEO, who is already seeing $80 million of annual sales. In two weeks he’s turning on a new platform that will let businesses grab control of their logos and images and convert searches onto those things into customers.

KVM’s creator, Benny Schnaider, tells me the future of the cloud. He’s building a new virtualization system and says our current applications aren’t designed for the cloud and he’s looking to build a system that goes beyond containers. (Three part video):


The future of network security with the founder of Observable Networks. Catches people doing naughty stuff by doing endpoint modeling. Here, CTO Patrick Crowley explains what that is.

Contextual systems and privacy debate: experts in the industry, Babak Hodjat, Joe Braidwood, Gary Davis, Chris Arkenberg, Vinod Sirimalle. Thanks Mario Garate Tapia for organizing this great event! The good stuff starts at about 15 minutes in.


Future of Contextual marketing with NextUser: Ecommerce sites can radically change and improve ROI with a system like NextUser's.


New optical pen is cool:


First look at new Sphericam, 360-degree video camera coming later this year.


Do you have kids? Here is a great way to keep memories from them around in a private way: Keepy.

I read all my email at and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook at Please let me know how I, or Rackspace, the leading managed cloud company, can be of service to you. Thanks too to Hugh Macleod and team for helping me do art each week for this. We love his work!
Please pass this newsletter around. If you have gotten it, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:
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Media's Future.

Every week I send out an email newsletter. You can sign up here:

This is the newsletter that went out this week.


Next week is the famous Allen and Company annual event in Sun Valley, Idaho for media industry magnates. You know, people with last names like Murdoch, Zuckerberg, etc. There are so many private planes in town that the local airport runs out of space.

Scott Jordan, CEO and founder of ScottEVest (the clothes I usually wear that have tons of pockets for my gadgets and batteries) has been asking me for the past few years to come up and hang out. He says the networking is incredible. Last year he met GoPro’s founder, Nick Woodman, while out walking his dogs.

I don’t have a problem networking, so that wasn’t interesting, but as I studied Allen and Company I found out they don’t allow most press into the lodge, where the event is held. That’s the lodge where Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post from Don Graham on the deck during Allen and Co.

So, instead of just hoping to meet one of these people at the local coffee shop, I thought, “what if I used Allen and Co. as a forcing function?”

See, back when I worked at Microsoft I helped out with some of its developer events and saw just how much work got done in the last few days before one of them. Having a deadline forced the team to pull out all the stops.

The past few months have done just that for me, as you can see by all my emails over the past 13 weeks.

But this past week was something special. Yesterday I visited Ted Schilowitz, futurist at 20th Century Fox. He has two separate labs for building and testing out the latest VR headsets from Oculus Rift and Valve (he located them on separate sides of the campus, so that they wouldn’t find out he was working with both companies).

He gave me a demo yesterday of both headsets. One had an actor that only appeared if you looked around. It shows that there’s a TON of innovation coming from media makers who will play with 360-degree cameras in a new way. Ted, by the way, is one of the founders behind the Red Camera, and is advising a ton of camera companies, too.

And it wasn’t even the best interview of the past week.

Earlier this week I visited Samir Arora who runs Mode. Formerly Glam media. It's the seventh most visited media company. Who is bigger? Well, Google, Facebook, AOL, Apple, Yahoo. Samir walked me through how a modern media company works, and how he’s been able to pay out $200 million to content producers so far (we used to call them bloggers). I put up an hour-long video series on Facebook which is getting rave reviews at:

Last Friday I spent a ton of time with Dan Levitan, managing partner at Maveron. Don’t know who he is? Well, he’s invested in many of the world’s biggest consumer companies like Starbucks, Ebay, Zulily, and many others.

Yes, this interview is long, but we cover a bunch of topics from whether we are in a bubble (he says we are a victim of cycles, so yes) to a bunch of new companies that he has his eyes on.
Another interesting interview I did about the future of media, is with the founder of MixPo, Charlie Tillinghast. He used to be president of MSNBC. We got a look at his technology, which helps advertisers “retarget” or have ads that build as a user goes around various websites and social networks. That’s at

We’ll talk more about these next week at our “Tech on Deck” live video event, which starts Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. Pacific Time.

Sign up here:


How do you prepare for a Shark Tank experience? Your traffic can go up by 5,000 percent or more. I visit ScaleArc, which has helped many companies scale their databases. Here I interview its CTO and founder to find out more.

ScaleArc: If you are building a new company, or a new technology project, this video will show you what ScaleArc does and how it helps you scale your database.


Skype Translator. I get a deep look at how the new Skype uses Machine Learning to make rapid real-time translations possible.


The rest of these are fun.
Make your boring photos much more interesting. How? With Microsoft Hyperlapse. Here I get a look at how it works.

After last week’s newsletter was written I went back to Microsoft Research to see Microsoft Sanddance, which is an amazing data visualization project that Steven Drucker is leading. If you think playing with data is boring, you haven’t met Steven or seen his demos.

Virtual reality is hot, but did you know you can shoot some Zombies, thanks to VRCade, a startup in Seattle? It's a room you run around in with a virtual gun and a VR headset. You get a look at it in the above video, but if you live in Silicon Valley, you can play this yourself. $5 per play at an arcade in Milpitas.

You ever want to fly? Well here’s the best flight simulator I’ve ever had my eyes in. Watch as Flyte’s founder, Mark Allen, shows me how this multi-projector VR system works.


I read all my email at and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook at Please let me know how I, or Rackspace, the leading managed cloud company, can be of service to you.

Thanks too to Hugh Macleod and team for helping me do art each week for this. We love his work!

Please pass this newsletter around. If you have gotten it, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:
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A look at my second email newsletter (fifth one goes out tonight). Email subscribers get these before the Internet does. Details on LinkedIn:
 NOTE: This is reprinted from my email newsletter, which was sent out on April 16th. A new newsletter from me gets sent out each Thursday night. Subscribe here: week I spent a few hours with John Borthwick, founder of Betaworks, a famous startup studio in New York City (it’s the home ofDigg, Giphy, Instapaper, Dots, Blogloving, Bitly, and lots of other startups).Here I do one of my first Periscope’s (a live vi...
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Reprinted: Life and Tech #5: Augmenting our Reality.

This email newsletter was sent out May 7th. Every week I email out a newsletter named "Life and Tech." You can subscribe here:

(I'm now caught up, all in preparation for this week's "Tech on Deck" -- more info on that virtual event here: ).


Unless you have been living under a rock you know that Oculus Rift is coming in early 2016 thanks to its announcement this week (…/first-look-at-the-rift-shipping-q…/ ) along with fact Google has thrown a half billion into an augmented reality company, Magic Leap, and Microsoft, last week, got a ton of press for its HoloLens augmented reality demos. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are about to spring into the world in a big way and the hype knob is turning way up.

At the Collision Conference in Las Vegas this week there was one guy who is already benefitting from augmented reality technology: Blippar’s CEO Ambarish Mitra.

His technology is featured on the covers of cereal boxes from General Mills (they make a variety of breakfast cereals from Wheaties to Lucky Charms).

Today Blippar turned on a new visual search engine. It got quite a stir out of the audience at Collision when he brought two puppies onto stage. Pointed his mobile phone at one, and it properly identified the breed as a pomeranian. Whoa.

As he pointed his phone at a variety of other things, Coke cans, cereal boxes, and even fresh fruits, it properly identified them and then a circular menu popped out with details about the object you were aiming at. All even color matched with the object you were aiming at (carrots brought an orange background, for instance).

Backstage Mitra explained more about his technology. He has millions of images in his databases, thanks to his mobile app’s 50 million users. His team has built a deep learning system that learns new objects at a fast clip. He says the secret isn’t in the deep learning part of the technology but in gathering enough properly curated images of objects so that the system can learn the difference between, say, a box of cereal, a dog, or a can of Coca Cola.

Why are brands excited by this? For the first time they can have a real relationship with the buyer at the point of consumption. For instance, I was drinking a can of Diet Coke in the speaker room. Coke, before this, had no idea that can was even being distributed there. After all, we were standing in a temporary structure built just for the conference. But now Coke can build new experiences that spring out of the Blippar’s app. They get a ton of data they never could before about who their customers are, where they are, and what context they were interacting with the brand in the first place (which is another way they are ahead of Google and Microsoft’s Bing, amongst others: Blippar is a mobile first company and isn’t encumbered by having to keep old web users happy).

Mitra demoed a few of the augmented reality experiences brands have built for me. Some were simple, others were full 3D virtual experiences. You can put full games on top of a soda can, for instance, or make 3D models pop out of a magazine ad. Just by aiming your mobile phone’s camera at things.

Which gets me to the whole point of this newsletter. Our lives are about to be augmented. Someday we’ll be wearing glasses that tell us more about things in our world (which is why Hololens and Magic Leap have gotten such big investments, more on those in a second). Mitra’s Blippar is positioned to be the underlying technology and he’s already winning (he bought competitor Layar last year which lost to Blippar because Blippar’s focus on brands and not just on technology gave it a deeper war chest).

Let’s back up though and break down the virtual reality and augmented reality space. Blippar shows that there are already startups who are building software and positioning themselves to provide pieces of a new ecosystem of apps and technologies that will enable new consumer electronics gadgets.

I see them as two separate spaces that probably will combine in the future.

2016 will see a variety of virtual reality gadgets. Oculus Rift will be the best selling, but will be joined by Valve’s headset, HTC’s Vive, which will ship earlier, but is coming from a video game company, not Facebook, with its 1.44 billion users. Insiders are telling me that Oculus has some mind blowing stuff it hasn’t shown off yet, which shows how the hype is building. Also joining are a variety of mobile phone-based headsets, from Google’s Cardboard, to Merge VR’s foam-based set that takes an iPhone 6, to Samsung’s Gear VR, which costs about $200 and takes a Samsung phone to power it. I expect to see a number of big booths at next year’s CES show to be demonstrating these to lots of willing buyers (at this year’s show Oculus had a long line waiting to try its prototypes and most I talked to said something like “holy cow.” Well, it was Vegas so a few expletives might have been used. Heh. Point is that there’s a LOT of interest in Oculus).

In 2017 we’ll see the augmented reality glasses, like Microsoft’s Hololens, Meta’s SmartGlasses, and Magic Leap jump into the fray, amongst others. What are these and how are they different? Their screens let you look through them to the real world. Where Valve and Oculus only let you see virtual images painted on your screens (along with possibly images from a camera so you can see where in the room you are).

Augmented Reality will let you have glasses you can wear while walking around. Sort of like how Google Glass worked, but with much nicer screens. This is the world where Blippar will really take off. Why? Because our expectations are that you’ll look at something and be able to learn more about it.

Today Blippar showed off just how cool that world will be.


A few notes on the Collision Conference.

You might not have heard of it yet. But it’s part of the fastest growing series of conferences I’ve seen in my career. Four years ago founder Paddy Cosgrave was sitting in his bedroom begging people to come to Ireland to speak at his new conference, called “Web Summit.” He told me most turned him down until he got a huge break: he met rock star Bono in a Dublin restaurant. Got the courage to introduce himself and ask if he could come along to a pub crawl for geeks he was arranging. Then he called back all those who had turned him down “hey, I know you told me to get lost, but now Bono is joining us, want to go on a pub crawl through Dublin with Bono?”

That first conference had a few hundred people. That got me to join the next year. Why? Techcrunch’s Mike Butcher, and others, told me it was the best conference they had ever been to. The year I joined there were a few thousand attendees. Last November, that conference had 22,000 attendees.

So what does Collision have to do with Web Summit? It’s the same conference and expo run by the same team, but Paddy and his team believe that every country should have their own brand. They are also holding a Web Summit in Hong Kong, called “Rise.”

This is the most impressive startup and technology conference. And that’s saying something. I’ll see you at Web Summit in Dublin in November.


The Blockchain is going to change, well, nearly everything about business.

Here is legendary investor Tim Draper (he’s the “D” in DFJ, which invested in Hotmail, Skype, Tesla, SpaceX, amongst many other things) talking about how he’s getting rid of legal documents when funding startups by incorporating those agreements directly into Blockchain technology. What’s that? It’s a new kind of ledger, decentralized, built into the software underneath Bitcoin. Keeps track of all the owners and agreements that go into owning a piece of a company. Listen to Tim talk about it here:


A new cloud is coming, says CRV investor.

Devdutt Yellurkar is a venture capitalist at CRV and explained to me that he’s seeing a new “Cloud 2.0” taking shape. What’s that? A set of new companies like Qubole that are set to disrupt existing cloud vendors by taking away the most lucrative of their business assets: databases. I found this to be very interesting for us at Rackspace, since we provide service on top of so much of the cloud (just this week we announced support for Microsoft Office 360).


My first week with Apple Watch.

Lots of people have been asking me what I think of Apple’s new watch. So far it does what it needed to do: be better than the competition (by just doing that it will sell 90% of the smart watches sold this year since most of the people who can afford a $400 watch are already Apple customers). That said, it’s not a category redefinition like the first iPhone was to the mobile phone industry. It doesn’t bring much new beyond its “crown” which lets you scroll up and down through emails and notifications.

I find its real value is that it saves me time. How? Everytime someone calls I look at my watch. I get a lot of spam calls and calls from people who block their caller ID. I never accept those, and it saves me seven seconds every time I get one of those because I can decline the call right from the watch.

Sometimes my phone is in the next room on the charger while I’m watching TV, too. Maybe my boss is calling just to check on something. I can answer him right from the watch without getting off the couch. That’s happened a few times in the first week already and everytime it happens it makes me happy I have the watch.

That said I’ve already removed most of the apps and most of the notifications from my watch. Why? They aren’t contextual enough. When I am watching a movie I don’t want to get bothered by, say, Facebook or Twitter. That stuff can always wait. Messenger, on the other hand, I kept on because if a customer is trying to get an answer that’s worth walking out of a movie for. Same with texts and phone calls. They are worth keeping on the watch. The other stuff, not so much. App developers need to rethink the value they are delivering to the watch. I’ll try apps as they update and see if they get smarter about delivering only really key notifications to the watch.

I do like the map integration on the watch and when Apple Pay gets more ubiquitous I can see that paying from the watch will be nicer too. The health monitoring is nice, although people who are really serious about health, like marathon runners, find it isn’t rugged enough, nor is it water proof, so they find they prefer devices from Garmin and others that are made more for them.

So, do I recommend you buy it? Only if you can get enough value out of it by saving a few seconds here and there by not being asked to pull your phone out of your purse or pocket. Translation: rich people will probably get enough value. Busy sales people and execs probably will too. It isn’t the kind of thing that I am going to be highly evangelistic about, but I’m happy I have mine.


I read all my email at and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook at Please let me know how I, or Rackspace, the leading managed cloud company, can be of service to you. Thanks too to Hugh Macleod and team for helping me do art each week for this. We love his work!

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On the VR/AR front, it is particularly useful while travelling abroad but that is when data is most expensive.

The company who solves the pre-caching problem well will beat the always connected guys even if their tech is not as good.

I just got back from Vienna and I had to give up using Google maps because it would have cost more than the flights on roaming.

Those maps should have been pre-cached on my home wifi, like I did with German language on Google translate.
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Reprinted: Life and Tech #7: Learnings from the Age of Context

This email newsletter was sent out May 21st. Every week I email out a newsletter named "Life and Tech." You can subscribe here: 


Two years ago Shel Israel and I were putting the final touches on our book, “Age of Context.” We tried to predict where the mobile world would go (and since mobile is how many humans connect to the Internet, has a big impact on the future of business).

What are contextual systems? They are ones that change depending on the users’ context. You know, your mobile phone and watch should behave differently depending on whether you are in a business meeting, watching a movie, exercising, dancing at a night club, or eating a meal. Doing that would require gathering data from email, from calendar, from searches, from sensors you are wearing and holding or walking near. When we wrote the book, Google Now had already been out for a few months. I thought it was the beginning of a new wave of computing.

Right after the book went to press Bluetooth Smart Low Energy Beacons went live (most of the press called them iBeacons, after Apple’s marketing and software layer on top of these little radios, but that wasn’t correct). These little radios spit three numbers into the air. Your phone can tell how close it is to them. They cost less than $10 each in quantities. Run on small batteries for longer than a year. 

I thought we had totally nailed a new trend and that we’d look like brilliant futurists, predicting a crazy always-surveilled big data future. 

That fantastic future largely hasn’t shown up, though. 

Perfect example - Google Glass. Our cover has a guy wearing a pair. They certainly haven’t proven to be popular on the street. Another great example -- beacon technology. The beacon/contextual world largely hasn’t shown up, despite Coachella having 160 of them on the field during its music festival. 

Why not?

Well, after every speech I’ve given since then, where I detail all the fantabulous things that are happening, where even baby bottles have sensors in them, I ask the audience “how many of you are freaked out by this new world?” It’s consistent that 1/3rd of the hands go up. That attitude toward privacy is borne out by this Pew Report: 

When working on the book I thought that utility would solve this problem and would convince people to jump on board. That hasn’t proven true in a major way and it’s leading to a new divide between people who are “all in” and people who are resisting this new “always watching” technology. 

It also is leading tech companies like Apple, to ignore contextual technology. The Apple Watch, for instance, doesn’t behave differently depending on where you are, which is a real shame because it keeps lighting up even when I’m in a movie. 

My opinion matches Sam Song Liang’s. He writes, on my Facebook post where I ask about lessons learned from the Age of Context, “On privacy, a simple question I ask people is this: compared to 30 years ago, before Google, Facebook, mobile phones, do people have more or less privacy now? Do most people prefer the life now or 30 years ago?” 

Privacy attitudes aren’t the only retardant that’s holding back big-data innovation. 

This report on retail beacons gives some others: Turns out it’s hard to provide real utility in an app-siloed world. Why? Well, can, say, your Starbucks app really interoperate with the databases inside Facebook? No. 

...and why not? Because while Facebook does gather a TON of data about where you are reading it, and who you are, it has actually moved to close down APIs instead of opening them up thanks to those privacy fears. 

Also, the operating system itself just isn’t opening up like I had hoped it would on both Android and Apple’s mobile OS’s. On Apple, developers still can’t talk to the dialer, nor the wifi radios, in a real way that would allow better contextual apps to be built. Yes, there are companies like NewAer who are trying to provide radio-based context.

Go back to the learnings from Coachella about beacons, too. 

First you have to get someone to load your app. Then you need to get them to turn on Bluetooth (which means they need to think about battery life and privacy). Then you need them to turn on notifications, which, in the best of cases, will mostly be informative and have utility. But as my Apple Watch is teaching me, most notifications are spammy intrusions into what you are trying to do. 

That’s a lot that’s holding back our age of context. 

Why do I say that there’s a new divide? Well, I was at a “Live in the Vineyard” concert in Napa last year. Sitting next to me was an insurance salesman from Chicago who didn’t know who I was. I started talking to him about his new Samsung phone and he said “I love Google Now. The more I tell it about myself, the more it helps me.” 

Just look at the sentiment around Facebook Messenger here: Some, like me, really love the app. Others are very afraid of it and refuse to use it. I don’t know how this divide gets settled, but it is something to note for those of us who are building technologies for our companies.

In talking with my friends and people in the tech industry, there are fans of this new “give a bunch of data over to companies so they can do stuff with it for us” world. But there aren’t enough cases to get most people over into this world and our fears hold us back. 

Other lessons? In the Internet of Things world there are still multiple standards that are being discussed/decided on, and hooking up to them is taking unique technology that costs. I visited to see its new system that makes building apps for mobile/IoT connections much easier: 

Also, this week I visited Wearable World, to get a good feel for the state of that market in the post-Apple watch era. I agree with Francine Hardaway’s wrap up, here: It seems a lot of the excitement has left the building, but there are still a bunch of companies slogging it out, building new sensors and trying to find new, as yet unserved, markets. That said, our short attention spans have moved onto sexier things like virtual reality, drones, and robots. Last weekend I took my family to the very crowded 10th Annual Maker Faire. The most crowded booth? It was the “Game of Drones” booth where they were fighting drones.


Industry prepares for Oculus.

Consumer cam. $499. Giroptic.

Pro cam system. Up to $1 million for a sports stadium. 3D-4U. 

Why do I care so much about 360-degree cameras and virtual reality headsets? Because they blow me away. I think the rest of you will see what I’m talking about next year.


OpenStack had its big summit this week and here’s Rackspace’s architect Adrian Otto and others talking about new container support. The future of the cloud is containers and this video shows off what’s changing. 


Will Uber bans lead to a new political movement?

In San Antonio the city banned Lyft and Uber. This week 700 people showed up to see if they could get support for technology and entrepreneurial-support initiatives. I think this is very positive. Everytime I see a city ban Uber I think “there’s corruption.” Certainly not taking a point of view that’s very consumer focused. I hope this effort bears some fruit.


I read all my email at and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook at Please let me know how I, or Rackspace, the leading managed cloud company, can be of service to you. Thanks too to Hugh Macleod and team for helping me do art each week for this. We love his work!

Please pass this newsletter around. If you have gotten it, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:
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+Robert Scoble should I still read your book "Age of Context? :) 
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A NEW WAY OF SEEING (Life and Tech #9)

Every week I email out a newsletter named "Life and Tech." You can subscribe here: This one was sent out on June 4th.

I just got back from spending two days with Innovation Endeavors at its “Curiosity Camp” in the middle of the redwoods near Santa Cruz. 

Rackspace sends me to stuff like this so that I can find new ways of doing business and bring those insights back to the company. This is Eric Schmidt’s VC firm. They are investing in innovations that are changing our world in a range of things from bio medicine, to agriculture, to machine learning.

One commonality behind everyone I met is that they don’t accept that we have to look at the world the same way that we used to. Thanks to technology, many are rethinking, well, everything about their industries. Farmers are planning on a world where they will have 50 sensors per acre of land. I heard at camp that today most farms don’t have any sensors at all. DuPont is planning on radically changing that over the next decade. Cloud computing, synthetic biology, machine learning and other technologies are shifting how we can look at the world in a big way, in industries that you might not think of.

Just look at the people I’ve met in the past week and how they are looking at their industries differently thanks to a variety of technologies:

Alexander Green of Sugar Cubes: He wanted to make a new kind of light display for nightclubs and music festivals. Built his own cubes, added LEDs, and a ton of programming and the result is beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like it.

…or there is Des Power of Harman: He runs a billion-dollar business selling speakers and home entertainment products with names like JBL on them. Brought 50 designers to Shenzhen, China, and started winning design awards, not to mention seeing increased sales. Why? Because innovation is about rapid iteration, and locating designers near the factories of Shenzhen shortened the time to get a new product out the door. They now do it in 22 weeks from start to finish.

Asher Levine is one of the top fashion designers in the world. You’ve seen his work on Beyonce, and many other celebrities. How does he look at the world differently? His mom taught him how to sew when he was six and now he stitches LEDs, sensors, and other technology into clothing for performers.

Anthony Sabbadini, founder of SCTracker, thought there was a new way to “see” supply chains. So, he built this, which shows where products are being built in real time thanks to GPS:
Janna Bastow, cofounder/CEO of Product Pad, knew there was a better way to track ideas. Her tool lets you prioritize ideas and track them from start to finish.
Ash Eldritch, cofounder and CTO at Vital Medicals knew that wearable computers would change how surgery is done. His system lets doctors and surgeons see information right on top of their real-life patients – just picture that for a second –which gives them fewer distractions and helps them perform surgery in huge new ways. Next Tuesday ODG (the glasses they use) will announce new versions that will help architects and others see the world in new ways too.

Yair Bar-on, founder of TestFairy, knew that developers needed to “see” the feedback from their beta testers in a new way. How? Apps delivered to beta testers (not for production) record their users so that developers can do things like go back and learn what part of the app they were using when a crash happened, or look at how a user got stuck, or examine why something didn’t display properly.

SpaceKnow lets you see satellite imagery in a new way. This impacts governments and companies that want to watch specific places on the earth for, say, economic data.

Richard Titus knew there was a new way to do scheduling and payments for small small time-based businesses, so invented

Yosi Taguri hated how his phone worked, so invented Yallo, which changes the dialer on Android and adds a ton of useful features, including new ways to see people calling you.

Ben Larralde wanted to have a different community for Internet of Things, so he developed Hackster.

Pat White, CEO of Sonata, thinks Enterprise Search needed a fresh approach. Cloud technology and machine learning let him look at the problem in a new way.

Can everything be reimaged thanks to technology? I believe so. Even Johnnie Walker whisky is now using IoT technology:

This is just the beginning. Based on what I saw at Curiosity Camp, there’s no sign of this rapid innovation slowing any time soon!  

How are you using technology to reimagine your world? Let me know!

I read all my email at and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook at Please let me know how I, or Rackspace, the leading managed cloud company, can be of service to you. Thanks too to Hugh Macleod and team for helping me do art each week for this. We love his work!
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Hello Scoble, any other tip about sensors on farm? I'm inside a huge agriculture hub in Brazil, and would love to know more about how iot can improve their productivity. Sure I can Google it, but if you have some nice initiative in mind, just point it here. 
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Happy Fourth of July. Instead of posting something pro USA, I figure I'll just give you a few of my newsletters. This one was sent out last week. You can subscribe at (a new one sent every Thursday).


I still remember when I first saw Yo (I was the first outsider to talk about it in public). The full launch story is here:…/how-yo-became-one-of-the-most-vir…/ ).
Back when I talked about it on Facebook, I said, “this is the stupidest app I can’t remove off of my phone.” When Moshe Hogeg, Yo's founder, first showed it to me, I think he said something like, “want to see something fun?”

It was a joke back then, built to help him tell his assistant to call him. After that it got on Product Hunt, then it got funded, and today it's an app that is actually useful. It “Yo’s” me on my phone when, for instance, the stock market goes up or down by 100 points, or there is a big earthquake somewhere, or a Techcrunch article gets 200 retweets. There are hundreds of things you can add to it.

But it isn’t the only “stupid sounding” startup that I’ve seen lately.
Goodnight poop from Throwboy. Throwboy makes emoji pillows. It's a startup I saw in St. Louis, Missouri, and it's doing well. My kids love the pillows:

Invisible Girlfriend. This startup helps you get an invisible boyfriend or girlfriend. Huh? The company, started by Matt Homann, won a pitch contest, which back then was a joke, at a Startup Weekend event back in 2013. Then he actually built the company.

What about a startup that delivers beer? Steve Young made it so with Synek. I give it a first look here: This startup sells you a beer machine and you can buy beer to be delivered to you in packets. Sort of like Nescafe ships you coffee in little packets that you put into a machine and it makes you a latte.

Speaking of Moshe, the guy who started Yo. He has a servious startup, too. EyeIn, which launched last week, is a real time visual search engine. He spent $90 million developing it, but then this week Instagram came out with many of the same features (except EyeIn works on a bunch of services, not just Instagram). I wonder if Facebook, which owns Instagram, will let EyeIn keep using its API: (Instagram) and

Moshe caught my attention, not because of this, or the social network he runs, Mobli, but because of Yo. Sometimes it’s the stupidest apps that are easiest to pay attention to, huh?


Other things I saw this past week.

Today I got a tour of Microsoft Research. Mind blowing stuff. Here’s three videos I did:
1) Future of quantum computing.

2) Trapping mosquitoes with drones and technology.

3) Future of data visualization.


Here Derek Johnson has a great list of tools for startups:


Facebook open sources its IDE for developers:


A look at the conference room of the future at Cisco. We will be using this on Tech on Deck during the Allen and Company event in Sun Valley, Idaho, on July 7th-9th. Sign up for that at What is “Tech on Deck?” A virtual conference of interesting people telling me the future of various things, which is why I was visiting Microsoft Research.


Connected cars are all the rage, but here a startup,, shows how to connect your car with its gadget underneath your dashboard.


Aisle411 shows me the latest in indoor mapping. It can direct you right to products on shelves at grocery stores around the United States.


LaunchCode is finding jobs for unemployed and underemployed people in IT:


Justin Kan writes about how Magic, a new text-based delivery service, works for him:


Conversation with the Unicorn Hunters behind the Extreme Tech Challenge, a great contest for startups attacking huge markets:


Visiting St. Louis' innovation district:


Cool gifts from Greetabl. This startup takes a piece of paper and makes unique gift boxes from it. The future of greeting cards:


Imergy ships commercial batteries that help make power grids smarter (and enable more use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar):


Photo tips for kids with great travel photographer (and Rackspace customer) Trey Ratcliff:


Amazon opens up its Echo APIs:
My boss loves Echo, and writes in the comments here why:

I’m up in Seattle meeting with all sorts of interesting innovators and startups. Tomorrow I’m meeting with one of the best venture capitalists, Dan Levitan, in the Pacific Northwest and we’ll talk about all this and see if he has any funny startups up his sleeve.


I read all my email at and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook at Please let me know how I, or Rackspace, the leading managed cloud company, can be of service to you.

Thanks too to Hugh Macleod and team for helping me do art each week for this. We love his work!
Please pass this newsletter around. If you have gotten it, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:
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My third email newsletter. If you want these two weeks sooner, please subscribe (details over on LinkedIn). A new one ships every Thursday night.

Hope you are liking these! I'm on my way home to San Francisco via Paris. See ya on the other side!
Editor's note: This was first published on April 24th as an email newsletter that Robert Scoble publishes weekly. To get it two weeks sooner, please subscribe at is the best known of the frictionless services. This service lets you pull out your mobile phone, order a ride, see the ride coming toward you, pay for the ride without touching anything or pulling a card or dollars out of your wallet, and even gives you a m...
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+Rohan Blake Like I said in one of your previous post. Perfect era to start a business. So many tools in place. It should make you want to start a business. Guaranteed success or not. The experience, lessons alone makes it worth the chance.
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Exclusive first look at a very interesting new video camera technology. OUR STUDIO IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS AGAIN! Thanks Rocky Barbanica!

This new camera, from Altia Systems, joins three cameras into one package for a "super wide" mode. Their first product is aimed at business conferencing rooms, but don't miss where this really is going to be important: on drones and for virtual reality.

See, I'm carrying around a 360-degree camera not for today, but next year when virtual reality headsets become far more commonplace. This camera technology will bring us video for the Oculus Rift.

Why? GoPro cameras simply aren't wide enough for those new uses. This $999 camera (which is cheap for what it does) brings us into the future where we'll use an Oculus Rift headset (or Hololens, or Valve VR, or Samsung's Gear VR, or Meta).

Thanks to the magic of video processing and some unique hardware, this takes us into the future.
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Rackspace's Futurist. Searching for world-changing technologies.
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  • Rackspace
    Futurist, 2009 - present
    Go find the future and report on it. Build relationships with startups and other tech industry innovators. Rackspace is the leading managed cloud company.
  • Microsoft
    Strategist, Evangelism, 2003 - 2006
  • NEC
    Sales Support, 2002 - 2003
  • PodTech
    Vice President, Media Development, 2006 - 2008
  • Fawcette Technical Publications
    Assistant Editor, 1997 - 2001
  • Mansueto Ventures
    Managing Director, Fast, 2008 - 2009
  • Winnov
    Vice President, Marketing, 1995 - 1997
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Half Moon Bay, California, USA
Cupertino, CA, USA - San Jose, CA, USA - Bothell, WA, USA - Saratoga, CA, USA
Contact Information
620 Folsom Street San Francisco, CA
Rackspace's Futurist helps small teams have a huge impact with cloud computing technology.
Rackspace's Futurist searches the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology. 


As Futurist for Rackspace, the leading Managed Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people.


If you are looking to contact me, email is best: but my cell phone number is +1-425-205-1921.


Time: One of the top 140 Twitterers!
FT: One of the five most influential Twitterers!

I'm a geek who grew up in Silicon Valley (my dad was an engineer at Lockheed) and since 1985 I've been building online communities. In 2000 I started my technology blog,, and my life has been on a rocketship ever since. In 2003-2006 I worked at Microsoft as an evangelist and one of the five guys who started Microsoft's famous Channel9 video community.

I'm now working at Rackspace as its Futurist (I go around the world to study and make media about world-changing innovators). You'll also see my videos on but the best place to watch me now is on Facebook, on Twitter or on my blog. Our professional videos, done in studio, are on Rackspace's YouTube site.

The real-time streaming web is changing my life faster than I can imagine, and lets me keep in touch with thousands of technology and business innovators all around the world.

I'm also the father of three sons, Patrick, 21, Milan, 7, and Ryan, 5 (as of 2015). Lots of fun and they are all geeks in training too.

Anyway, visit some of my links to see more about me, especially my Wikipedia profile (I didn't edit any of it, that was done by people in the community) and feel free to drop me a line at anytime you need something or want to talk about being on one of my video shows.

Oh, and, yes, I do answer my own cell phone and I do include that number on the Internet for you to use: +1-425-205-1921 and have for several years. I live in Half Moon Bay near the Ritz and would love to meet up with geeks/entrepreneurs if you are in town and I'm available.


Some suggested lists you can put me in:

Technology enthusiasts.
Passionate about technology.
Startup lovers.
Tech journalists.
Long-time Silicon Valley residents.
San Francisco geeks.
Corporate storytellers.
Video shows.
Bloggers (especially geeky or tech).
Photo enthusiasts.
iPad crazies.
Gadget freaks.
iPhone enthusiasts.
Friends of entrepreneurs.
Cloud computing fanatics.
Web hosting experts.
Big data fan.
Rackspace employees.
Tech news curators.
Bragging rights
I shook Steve Jobs' hand.
  • San Jose State University
  • West Valley Community College
  • Prospect High School
  • Hyde Jr. High
Basic Information
January 18
Robert Scoble's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
The core of Apple's problem is Tim Cook, Scoble says

"Tim just doesn't hit me as a guy who's excited about the future."

Martin's West, a gastropub

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Thomas Hawk Digital Connection » Blog Archive » Change is Good

Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin Sports the New Google Glasses at Dinner in the Dark. If you want to make enemies, try to change something. – W

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The oldest local business in Half Moon Bay. Kevin, the owner, is a real lover of books and this is a must-support place if you are a book lover.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Great place to work during the day. Decent food, great views, fun for family and for hanging out. Oh, and the beer is great too!
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Food: Poor - FairDecor: Poor - FairService: Poor - Fair
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Great Mexican restaurant and family. I love the Chicken Mole and the chips here.
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
17 reviews
Great eye doctor. Reasonable prices.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Found this a bit by accident, but the home made Persian bread, alone, made the meal. They roll it and bake it right in front of you. We had a variety of meat dishes, including lamb, chicken, and beef kababs and they were all among the best I've had (my wife is Persian). The service was efficient, but not very personable, which is why I didn't rate them five stars (I save that rating for only the best restaurants that have the full package). It's a small place, but comfortable. A full meal (no alcohol) was £115 for six people, which gives you some idea of the pricing.
• • •
Food: ExcellentDecor: GoodService: Good
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago