Sunday, March 06, 2011

Flipboard and Content Creation vs Consumption and the rebirth of Facebook

Thanks to my recent success at the Tech Coast Angels event, I find myself with a new iPad (version 1). I had been wanting an iPad for some time, but could never quite justify the purchase. Since I ended up with one, I've enjoyed using it. And, thanks to the iPad, I've discovered something remarkable.

I've been a Facebook user since mid-2007. I should write an entire blog post on my initial love affair with Facebook and then my slow decline. I remember my first purging of (non-)friends, my first set of rules for directing work-related invites over to LinkedIn, my first concerns over privacy, my concerns over Facebook's dismissive attitude of privacy, my long period of absence, where I still had my Facebook account, but never logged in, and then finally my eventual joining of the many others who either suspended, or canceled their accounts entirely. I haven't been a serious Facebook user since mid-2009.

So what caused me to come back? In a word - Flipboard.

Flipboard has solved a dilemma I have had with Twitter and Facebook for a while. That is, I like to use this blog to project information, but I like to use Facebook and Twitter to consume information. By placing this information in the format that Flipboard does, I find it far more engaging than the chronological scroll-information-dump format that either Facebook or Twitter defaults to.

Adding Reddit was a lot more involved (see link) but I really see this as a great tool. I can't remember where I read it, but laptops are great for content creation and iPads (and the like) are great for content consumption. Apps like Flipboard really show why this is so.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Energy Cache Triumphant at TCA Pitch Event

The company I've started, Energy Cache, came out with top honors at the recent Tech Coast Angels pitch competition.  Considered the "Best Investment Opportunity" of 2011, the award was granted to Energy Cache from a very competitive field of around 170 entrants.

It's great to be receiving this recognition from the Tech Coast Angels as this pitch event is a premier event in Southern California's technology scene. What's particularly gratifying is that the competition, at this level, was extremely talented, and so to actually take away the top prize is a real privilege.

Energy Cache is an early stage technology company, backed by Pasadena incubator, Idealab. Our extremely low-cost energy storage solution improves grid reliability, better manages the transmission network, and enables wide-spread adoption of renewable energy at the lowest possible cost to consumers.

Energy Cache was founded to provide a solution to the grid's problem of increased volatility. Mass adoption of renewable energy, the fact that peak demand continues to grow faster than average demand, and the fact that it is getting harder and harder to build transmission lines, is really driving the need for energy storage at a very large scale. Without storage, these problems will be solved the way the grid has always solved problems - by building more capacity and putting in greater capacity margins. This will result in far greater electricity prices than without storage. There are a whole bunch of other advantages for storage, which I'm pretty excited about, but this boils down to building the grid that we need for the future.

Idealab's mission is to create and operate pioneering technology companies. Founded in 1996 by entrepreneur Bill Gross, Idealab has founded more than 75 companies including eSolar, Inc., Energy Innovations, Overture Services, Inc., CitySearch, Picasa and Internet Brands. Current operating companies are providing innovative technology solutions in industries such as software, search, robotics and alternative energy fields.

So, congratulations to the other finalists in the competition, and thank you to the Tech Coast Angels for putting on the event!