UberPool and Lyft Line (in graph), available in a handful of cities, match two sets of riders heading in the same direction and charge them a reduced fare. This kind of carpooling, hardly a new idea, may play a major role in the outcome of the San Francisco companies’ furious competition against each other and the $11 billion traditional U.S. taxi and limo industry. “I do think this is the future of ride-sharing—the actual sharing of rides,” says Harry Campbell, an Uber and Lyft driver and author of The Rideshare Guy, an industry blog. “They can lower the price and make the business accessible to people who may not have taken a ride before.”
People either love or hate convention hotels. They tend to be exhausting to navigate, but there is something to be said about not needing a shuttle or rental car to get to the event.
Over the years, I have had a chance to spend time at 3 of the Gaylord properties in Nashville, Orlando, and last week for Oracle HCM World at National Harbor, MD. These are massive properties with between 5 and 15 restaurants, 2,000 and 4,000 guest rooms and between 400,000 and 600,000 sq feet of meeting space.
The Nashville property has a 20,000 sq foot spa, the Orlando one is set in a campus of over 60 acres. They have waterfalls, waterways and giant atriums. Which means they are converging technologies at convention centers, hotels, restaurants, retail stores, and in some cases museums and amusement parks
Hospitality Technology, in this report (sub required) describes some of the technologies restaurants are investing in (click graph to enlarge)
Hospitality Technology, in this report (sub required) describes technologies hotels are investing in.
Swiss Tech in Lausanne provides a glimpse of how convention centers are evolving – in energy management and in flexibility to even change seating into standing spaces.
Every enterprise vendor talks about making their UX more attractive, especially to Millennial workers.
At HCM World this week in Washington, DC I was pleased to see how Oracle has been leveraging social networks, personal health trackers and other consumer technologies to “digitally transform” the talent management life cycle – in the location, engagement, retention and education of talent.
In a keynote, Chris Leone, Senior Vice President of Development for HCM and in breakouts with analysts, Gretchen Alarcon, in charge of HCM Strategy and Mark Bennett who focuses on Collaboration technologies at Oracle provided details.
They include “work/life” apps focused on reputation management – which provides a clearer picture of how a candidate or employee is viewed by peers and the communities he / she works across enhancing the “social” glimpses LinkedIn and other networks provide.
Another focuses on wellness and competition with peers, leveraging growing “quantified self” data that FitBit, Apple Watch and other personal technology is generating.
More are coming in the “work/life” category including one on “My career development” which allows employees to benchmark themselves against career paths and even their fit for roles in other parts of their enterprises.
Oracle Learning Cloud, highlighted at the event, sources content from both internal and external sources, including YouTube and Massive Open Online Courses (MooCs) and personalizes recommendations.
When I asked Gretchen the risk of leveraging technologies also available to competitors, she pointed out few could match the role of Oracle’s technology infrastructure. That includes its global network of cloud data centers and its investments to support transcoding and bit-rate adaptive video streams which remove latency issues as users publish and consume whether they are on slow 3g cellular or speedier WiFi networks.
The “consumery” vibe for the event was introduced and constantly reinforced by the host, Oracle’s Cara Capretta. She goaded the audience to tweet and had a couple of artists capture the key themes on the “social listening wall” that she projected early and often throughout the event.
The first concept, called BHO3, is designed to charge the batteries of electric cars by transforming the heat generated from a rolling tire into electric. Heat is generated as a tire rolls and materials would be embedded to generate electricity.
Goodyear's second concept is called Triple Tube. The name is largely self-explanatory and includes three tubes that rest under the tread and near both shoulders of the tire and center. An internal pump would automatically adjust air in the tubes based on road conditions.
An eco setting would inflate all tubes to the max to cut rolling resistance. A sport position could cut inflation on the inboard tube for better handling and a wet setting would inflate the center tube to prevent aquaplaning.
In general, these tests ask candidates to agree or disagree with a series of statements intended to gauge hard-to-measure areas such as assertiveness anddependability. The programs use data analyses of the answers to determine when a candidate might shine or struggle in a particular job.
Such tests also help companies scale their hiring. "We want to systematize the hiring process," says Chris Presswood, co-owner of Murray, Kentucky-based Finish Line Car Wash & Detail. The family-owned company, which began using PeopleClues employment tests at the end of 2013, fields about 1,000 applications a year and asks candidates to take the 30-minute online test. Presswood thinks seeing the results helps less experienced hiring managers quickly learn what to look for in a candidate. "We don't want to just hire on a hunch or a good feeling," he says.
Fortune on China phone makers as they grow beyond their Chinese market focus
“In 2011 just two of the top 10 smartphone makers in China were Chinese, according to market researcher Canalys: Huawei and Lenovo. In 2014 eight of the top 10 were Chinese; Samsung and Apple were the only foreign holdouts. In just three years the cast of leaders completely reshuffled as China’s smartphone market more than quadrupled. Today six of the top 10 smartphone brands worldwide are Chinese, according to Strategy Analytics, even though many of them sell only in China—proof of the enormousness of that market relative to the rest of the world.”
Rebellion Photonics, is the world’s first (and only) maker of hyperspectral video cameras–the best way to detect fugitive emissions of methane and other volatile gases escaping from oil-and gas fields and petrochemical refineries.
The existing standard for image-based gas detection was unreliable: single-frame cameras or handheld infrared cameras that required the user to climb all over equipment and storage tanks in order to pinpoint leaks. The biggest competitor was $4.3 billion Flir Systems, a maker of light-intensifying and infrared cameras. Even then infrared discerns only hot from cold. A plume of gas seen that way might be methane–or harmless steam. “Until Rebellion, emissions monitoring was really expensive, really complicated and totally inaccurate,” says Sawyer. “You would get a lot of false positives.”
he device, the Broadcaster mini, works with any camera that has an HDMI port, and connects via Wi-Fi to send live 1080p videos to your Livestream account.
The Broadcaster mini is designed as a sequel to the original Broadcaster video encoder launched three years ago. The mini version measures in at about 2.8 by 2 inches – roughly 1/3 the size of its predecessor. It also bumps streaming speed from 2.3 Mbps to 4 Mbps, and runs on an internal rechargeable Li-ion battery instead of AA batteries. The company estimates battery life to last about two to three hours, and is rechargeable via micro USB.
Agrihoods, as they’re known, such as the 359-home Prairie Crossing outside Chicago, began cropping up in the 1980s. What’s changed is the size and number of projects and the entry of large corporate developers. A restored 19th century farmhouse and 5-acre commercial farm sets Harvest apart from other subdivisions northwest of Dallas, according to Tom Woliver, Hillwood’s director for planning and development. “You need to attract some interest,” he says. “Food brings everyone together.”
At the Willowsford development in Virginia, Susan Mitchell says the outdoor stand selling community farm berries, asparagus, and carrots is a gathering place for neighbors. Mitchell, who bought a four-bedroom Hovnanian Enterprises house with her husband, can walk to the stand with her young sons, stopping along the way to pick flowers, pet goats, and chat with the resident farmer. “It’s having a little more nature in your backyard than the normal community,” she says.
At Convergence this week, customers profiled in various sessions played to Microsoft’s positioning of the “intelligent cloud”. They represented Azure cloud computing, machine-learning and leverage of Internet of Things in a wide range of industries. CEO Satya Nadella posited that other industries could become as margin rich as the software industry has been if they can learn to tame the coming explosion of devices and data.
The customers represented asset-heavy ones like Ford (which is using the Azure cloud for various connected services and has partnered with Microsoft for its Sync infotainment system) , Rockwell Automation (using the Azure cloud to monitor asset health).
They include Wash (an operator of laundromats which described how Microsoft helps in a low margin industry to deliver differentiating service calls and how it is starting to help with dynamic pricing )
They also represented (somewhat) asset light ones like Accuweather (which amalgamates a wide range of weather related data feeds to provide forecasts and other useful weather/climate data), J&J Services (a UK food service provider which described how machine learning is making their eCommerce portal far more interactive). Marston Pubs and Taverns in the UK discussed Microsoft tools for social engagement.
One of the most impressive demos during Convergence last week was one during the opening keynote where Julia White, GM for Office, showed a vision of next-gen selling using an opportunity for a 3D printer proposal and presentation.
It was a showcase for CRM, Office365, Skype for Business, Cortana personal assistant, Surface Hub display, Delve, Apple and Microsoft mobile hardware and predictive pipeline analytics from Insidesales.com
Plex Systems organized a tour of the Sanders chocolate factory in Clinton Township, MI as part of their analyst day. The showpiece was the new, 188 foot Imperial Line (see video below) and the variety of planning, scheduling, inventory control, quality management and other functions the Plex software supports in the operation.
I was impressed with the scale of the operation – the volume of 10 lb Blommer dark chocolate bars, the huge vats of half and half and inverted sugar, the wide range of caramel recipes and product packaging.
No Willy Wonka at this factory but a very enjoyable couple of hours anyone would enjoy if you happen to be near Detroit.
Plex Systems gave several analysts a walk through of the simulated shop floor at their HQ. It was nice to see how the facility has evolved since last year even as hand held scanners, light curtains and digital calipers continue to be used.
There are considerably more displays – a Macro one to show various manufacturing steps across locations, and another to show progress within a facility
There are several more mobile devices, wearables and sensors on the floor includin
Ruggedized Google Glass with safety shield
Ring scanner – a Honeywell 8650 Bluetooth version
Beacon from Estimote
Next year, I expect to see Apple Watch and some robotics in addition.
The factory has also shrunk in floor space – a sign of a significant productivity improvement!
It was fitting that on Monday my hyperactive friend, Ray Wang live streamed portions of the keynote from the Microsoft Convergence event using his Meerkat app and then raved about it at dinner. Over the weekend he was in Austin and described three use cases for the app. It was a huge hit at this year’s SXSW
When Cornell arrivedat Target’s headquarters in Minneapolis, he was installed in the newly redone CEO’s corner suite on the 26th floor. Almost immediately he insisted he be moved to a smaller office down the hall that is only steps away from the company’s global data nerve center.
That’s the company’s mission-control-style monitoring room, which it calls “guest central.” There a team of 10 staffers scrutinizes live feeds from social media sites such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, along with television stations, on nine large TV screens high on the wall. They watch intently and use software to aggregate data to gauge by-the-second reactions to a product launch or news announcement or to respond quickly to, say, a customer fulminating on Twitter.
The social command center existed before Cornell became CEO. But he has beefed up its capabilities, and he’s looking for creative ways to use the data. He drops in every morning and insists on two updates a day.
Analytics have long been a central part of Cornell’s approach. When he headed Sam’s Club, the $55-billion-a-year Wal-Mart division, from 2009 to 2012, he improved the unit’s customer-insights system, according to Maggie Nation, a marketing executive at Sam’s under Cornell. The effort yielded such good results that Wal-Mart had all of its insights teams report directly to Cornell.
How does the Chicago river turn so vividly green? The Parade page says
“Two miracles appear that day, the river turns a perfect shade of green something that many other cities have tried but have not been successful at doing, and the second miracle by starting with the color orange giving the impression that river will be orange only to convert the river to that true Irish green. We believe that is where the leprechaun comes in.”
The single greatest instrument of change in today’s business world, and the one that is creating major uncertainties for an ever-growing universe of companies, is the advancement of mathematical algorithms and their related sophisticated software. Never before has so much artificial mental power been available to so many—power to deconstruct and predict patterns and changes in everything from consumer behavior to the maintenance requirements and operating lifetimes of industrial machinery. In combination with other technological factors—including broadband mobility, sensors, and vastly increased data-crunching capacity—algorithms are dramatically changing both the structure of the global economy and the nature of business.
If you have been to the paint section at Lowe’s you have likely seen the signature products that Valspar retails. For over 2 centuries, the company has been brightening the world as its chameleon mascots Jon and Val frequently remind us.
Valspar is a sponsor of a PGA tournament at the Innisbrook Golf Club near where I live. When David Rowe and Jennifer Perry of Rimini Street (a tournament sponsor and a Valspar supplier) invited me to meet them at the tournament I jumped at the opportunity.
The course and the hospitality areas were an amazing burst of color samples and digital colors. The golf itself was ok – just kidding – spectacular day and some of the world’s best were within whispering distance
Some day I would love to visit their plants and see all the innovation in their design and manufacturing processes. You can never get tired of so much color.
Intended to create affordable housing for singles in New York City, those promised prefabricated affordable units are finally being assembled in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and will be unveiled this spring in Manhattan's Kips Bay, according to The New York Times.
The city's first "micro" building will have 55 rental apartments, all ranging from 260- to 360-square-feet with big windows, ample storage space, and Juliet balconies.
Because the architects believed amenities are important to micro-unit dwellers, the building will also have a public meeting space, café, and common rooftop garden for residents, as well as a laundry room, residential storage space, a bike room, and fitness space.
To supplement his old-school hearing aid, he favors a $350 iPhone-linked earpiece made by Sound World Solutions, a hearing-hardware maker in Park Ridge, Ill., for whom he’s begun to consult. With the Sound World device on, he can amplify phone calls and streaming music as well as his surroundings. A third, $500 earpiece was custom-made by Ultimate Ears in Irvine, Calif., to help him detect a wider range of musical tones while composing. For restaurants and theaters, he has a $45 directional microphone that pairs with a $5 app to isolate desired voices. And for especially cacophonous places, he has spare $700 microphones, made by Etymotic Research in Elk Grove Village, Ill., that he can strap to companions.
Excellent overview of the GE Global Research Center. Good to see this center continue to innovate since I profiled them in The New Polymath, over 5 years ago
“At Global Research, our scientists and engineers don’t work for one business; they work for all of them. Their skills and expertise are applied wherever they’re needed. Over time, they get exposure to projects with different GE businesses that allow them to readily transfer technical knowledge from one business to another. It’s part of every GE researcher’s DNA to think and act in this way. The GE Store is a place where every business can come for technologies, product development and services that no one else can provide. The work of our researchers ties directly into the operational plans and product roadmaps of our businesses. GE business leaders meet with our technical leaders once every quarter to review their portfolios.”
Just as Toyota is working to replace the gasoline in its cars with hydrogen fuel cells, Japanese companies are leading the charge to convince homeowners they’re better off using hydrogen to power their lamps and TVs, too. The electricity is generated by so-called energy farms, or ene-farms, about the size of a refrigerator. They’re made by companies such as Panasonic and Toshiba and sold by leading utilities, including Tokyo Gas. Ene-farms dangle the promise that the most abundant element in the universe will offer a safer, cleaner, more efficient alternative to nuclear power or fossil fuels. Because a standard home unit costs about $16,700, most consumers have been hesitant to buy.
Since commercial sales began in 2009, more than 100,000 Japanese households have installed generators that use hydrogen. That’s a long way from where the government wants to be. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has set a goal of 5.3 million hydrogen-powered homes, roughly 10 percent of Japan’s total, by 2030.
A new SUV after 7 years, a new laptop after 3, and a new smartphone after 2, and especially when you see things from the eye of a technophobe wife, you realize how everything, even basic, humble things are rapidly evolving
The car clock has evolved to synch with the GPS and auto-adjust to daylight savings and time zones
The earbuds can screenprint to your photos
The speakerbox can speed-dial for you
The mouse has lost its tail and can walk even on rough surfaces
Police departments pay around $10,000 to $150,000 a year to gain access to these red boxes, having heard that other departments that do so have seen double-digit drops in crime. It’s impossible to know if PredPol prevents crime, since crime rates fluctuate, or to know the details of the software’s black-box algorithm, but budget-strapped police chiefs don’t care. Santa Cruz saw burglaries drop by 11% and robberies by 27% in the first year of using the software. “I’m not really concerned about the formulas,” said Atlanta Police Chief George Turner, who implemented the software in July 2013. “That’s not my business. My business is to fight crime in my city.”
On a Tuesday morning, the group is gathered in a book-lined room just off the pool at the Hotel Trias, in a sleepy town called Palamós, where they’ve met each of the last six years. There are bespectacled dudes in futuristic sneakers, a small cohort of stylish blonde women, and a much larger contingent of techie millennial guys in superhero T-shirts, all filling rows of folding chairs. At the front of the room, Erik Hansen, a tall, professorial member of Future Lab’s leadership team, is running through the week’s planned activities, which include extensive brainstorm sessions and a field trip to Barcelona (visiting the telecom giant Telefónica and some local design firms). He presents the agenda with a sober, vaguely robotic tone that makes what he does next surprising. As he brings the proceedings to a close, he asks, brightening, "Is everybody feeling awesome?" The team laughs and applauds, Hansen hits play on a laptop and, suddenly, every single member of the Future Lab team joins in with summer-camp enthusiasm to sing a song seared into the memory of everyone who made last year’s The Lego Movie a $468 million global hit.
Researchers at the Indian Institute for Technology in Jodhpur crunched data on several thousand recipes from a popular online recipe site called TarlaDalal.com. They broke each dish down to its ingredients, and then compared how often and heavily ingredients share flavor compounds.
The takeaway is that part of what makes Indian food so appealing is the way flavors rub up against each other. The cuisine is complicated, no doubt: the average Indian dish, after all, contains at least 7 ingredients, and the total number of ingredients observed by the researchers amounted to almost 200 out of the roughly 381 observed around the world. But all those ingredients — and the spices especially — are all uniquely important because in any single dish, each one brings a unique flavor.
Appliance manufacturers have always looked to restaurants for inspiration (think steam ovens and pro-style ranges). One of the buzziest adaptations for 2015 is GE’s new Sous Vide Accessory, available on its latest GE Profile, GE Café, and GE Monogram induction cooktops ($1,600 to $2,600). (see video below)
Other commercial adaptations seen at the show include blast chillers from Electrolux and Irinox, which restaurants often use to rapidly cool and freeze foods and maintain quality, fragrance, color, and aroma; the True Clear Ice Machine from True Refrigeration that cranks out crystal-clear ice cubes worthy of the finest cocktail lounge; and the Viking Professional TurboChef Double Oven, which claims to brown, sear, roast, and caramelize 15 times faster than conventional ovens.
“Batmanghelidj says that BarTender’s ability to adapt to any label printer creates another differentiator, too. “In an FDA-controlled environment, the labeling process is very complex,” he says. “For example, if a label change is needed, one person makes the change, it’s then reviewed and signed off by several other people, and there’s a very intricate process for validating that all the appropriate labels were updated and all the old labels were decommissioned. Without our solution, which includes the BarTender bar code print and design engine, our customers would have to manually manage hundreds of label files, which is not only time-consuming but highly error-prone. In one example, we helped a customer reduce the number of managed label files from 5,000 down to just five templates.”
Kate Spade was hardly the first fashion brand to inhabit a self-generated fantasy environment; Ralph Lauren had been doing as much since the late 1960s. Nor would fashion be the only product category to benefit from an all-encompassing approach to retail and product design—as companies such as Apple and Nike have demonstrated. These enterprises don’t just sell products; they sell an experience. But many others have tried to take the same approach and failed, because the requirements for success with this kind of experience are seldom fully understood or appreciated.
Popular Mechanics on how The New York Times operates in modern times including the digital innovations it keeps delivering.
“The R&D Lab opened nine years ago with the goal of looking three to five years into the future. (The Times declined to say how much it cost to build.) Marc Frons, the company's CIO says he has no idea how people will interact with the Times in ten years, "whether it's on your wrist, or your forehead, or you take a pill, or it's a holographic contact lens, or a head-up display in your vehicle—or on your mirror in your bathroom." The lab explored E Ink before the Kindle even existed, was responsible for delivering the earliest versions of the paper's mobile news alerts, and helped the Times become the first publisher with an application on Google Glass. One of the lab's researchers recently designed a brooch programmed to light up whenever a topic is mentioned that matches something the wearer read about online that day. What good would that do, exactly? Boggie answers with enthusiasm, "We don't know yet!"”
“When Google hosted a boot camp this month for its Android operating system, there were some new faces in the room: automakers.
They made the trip to learn about Android Auto, a dashboard system meant to let a smartphone power a car’s center screen. Tasks as varied as navigation, communicating, and playing music, apps all constantly talking to the cloud. And to the driver. A similar scene is playing out at Apple, where its rival CarPlay system was developed for iPhone users.”
“In coming months, dealerships across the country will begin selling vehicles capable of running Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or both.
The systems go far beyond current Bluetooth pairing for playing music or making hands-free calls and allow Google’s or Apple’s system to take over the center screen and certain buttons in the car.”
During two rounds of judging, science and visualization experts at the National Science Foundation and Popular Science winnowed 303 entries to 50 finalists, 10 in each category. To arrive at the Experts’ Choice, a panel of final-round judges rated the visualizations on their artistic merit and communication excellence. Readers voted online for the People’s Choice. Each of the winners was vetted for accuracy by independent experts.
In September, Novartis Chairman Joerg Reinhardt announced the company’s new commitment to aging research. “Over the long term, one could argue that R&D productivity has relentlessly declined,” he said in a keynote at a drug development conference in Basel, Switzerland. Aging represents a fertile field of discovery: Identifying the pathways and proteins associated with aging could yield promising drug targets, he said. By tweaking the right pathways, researchers could theoretically prevent a host of age-related diseases. Novartis is not alone in this: Chicago-based AbbVie has complete a $750 million partnership with Calico, an aging-research venture founded by Google.
Rapamycin isn’t the only widely used medication that’s turning out to have possible anti-aging properties. Millions of diabetics take a drug called metformin, which has been around for decades. Like rapamycin, metformin extended the life of federally funded mice in a clinical trial. And there is evidence that it might do the same for people. Diabetes typically shaves about five years off a person’s life. But a large retrospective analysis found that diabetics on metformin had a 15 percent lower mortality rate than nondiabetic patients in the same doctors’ offices. “To me that suggests that it’s actually targeting aging,” says Kennedy.
Leave it to Disney and its technologies to make you part of the show – even when you are far from their parks
At a mall
Love the bit where the guy says on his phone "I think I am being shadowed by Goofy". How did person at other end react?
Also geeks, sure you know what Umbra and Penumbra are?
By making you part of a show
Mickey hats with LEDs allow audiences to Glow with the Show. BTW there is also a Minnie Mouse-inspired headband, a Mickey Mouse glove and, my favorite, a magical wand that reminds me of Sorcerer Mickey.
Everywhere you go
You can show off your Disney Side with your mobile phone
Apple® today announced a €1.7 billion plan to build and operate two data centres in Europe, each powered by 100 percent renewable energy. The facilities, located in County Galway, Ireland (see artist impression below) and Denmark’s central Jutland, will power Apple’s online services including the iTunes Store®, App Store℠, iMessage®, Maps and Siri® for customers across Europe.
The two data centres, each measuring 166,000 square metres, are expected to begin operations in 2017 and include designs with additional benefits for their communities. For the project in Athenry, Ireland, Apple will recover land previously used for growing and harvesting non-native trees and restore native trees to Derrydonnell Forest. The project will also provide an outdoor education space for local schools, as well as a walking trail for the community. In Viborg, Denmark, Apple will eliminate the need for additional generators by locating the data centre adjacent to one of Denmark’s largest electrical substations. The facility is also designed to capture excess heat from equipment inside the facility and conduct it into the district heating system to help warm homes in the neighboring community.
When viewers tune into the Academy Awards Sunday, they can be forgiven for thinking the swelling music is coming from an orchestra hidden somewhere inside the 3,400-seat Dolby Theatre. The truth is a little less glamorous - they are a mile away, playing live at Capitol Records.
The sound is then piped through fiber optic cables back to the theater - in only 2.7 milliseconds.
"We just keep trying to get that latency down as close to zero, so that performers can hear exactly what the orchestra's doing and the orchestra can respond,"
"The most requested thing that kids have wanted to do with Barbie, and Mattel's done unbelievable amounts of research over the course of decades, is to talk to Barbie," says ToyTalk CEO Oren Jacob, Pixar's former CTO, who worked at the groundbreaking animation company for 20 years. "That's the number one request over all demographics, over all geographies, of all time. For the first time we're doing that for real now."
Yet it’s equally hard to overstate how dramatically the hyperloop could change the world. The first four modes of modern transportation–boats, trains, motor vehicles and airplanes–brought progress and prosperity. They also brought pollution, congestion, delay and death. The hyperloop, which Musk dubs “the fifth mode,” would be as fast as a plane, cheaper than a train and continuously available in any weather while emitting no carbon from the tailpipe. If people could get from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in 20 minutes, or New York to Philly in 10, cities become metro stops and borders evaporate, along with housing price imbalances and overcrowding.
The only thing this geek fantasy is missing: Musk. With his hands full simultaneously running Tesla Motors and SpaceX, he’s left it to others to make his theory a reality. He declined to comment for this story. But his fingerprints are on each of the groups vying to build the hyperloop, even though they couldn’t be more different.
It wasn’t long ago that the idea of a pre-IPO tech startup with a $1 billion market value was a fantasy. Google was never worth $1 billion as a private company. Neither was Amazon nor any other alumnus of the original dotcom class.
Today the technology industry is crowded with billion-dollar startups. When Cowboy Ventures founder Aileen Lee coined the term unicorn as a label for such corporate creatures in a November 2013 TechCrunch blog post, just 39 of the past decade’s VC-backed U.S. software startups had topped the $1 billion valuation mark. Now, casting a wider net, Fortune counts more than 80 startups that have been valued at $1 billion or more by venture capitalists (full list here). And given that these companies are privately held, a few are sure to have escaped our detection. The rise of the unicorn has occurred rapidly and without much warning, and it’s starting to freak some people out.