Archive for 'Israel'

Answers Corp. Moves to comScore Rank of #18

by on September 16, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Answers Corporation’s (NASDAQ: ANSW) August numbers move to comScore Rank of #18; data follows implementation of hybrid easurement under comScore’s new media metrix 360.

This report reflects first-time measurement data following Answers’ implementation of comScore’s new measurement methodology, Media Metrix 360, also known as a “panel-centric hybrid” solution.

According to comScore, Answers’ U.S. unique visitors reached 45.1 million in August (rank #18). WikiAnswers had 36.2 million U.S. unique visitors and ReferenceAnswers had 16.5 million U.S. unique visitors in August. (more…)

Best International Startup at TC50: Trollim

by on September 16, 2009 at 7:09 am

Trollim was chosen by TechCrunch as the Best International Startup at TC50 yesterday — well done!

Trollim is a competition platform for programmers unlike any other you’ve encountered before. Trollim assesses the coding level and performance skill set of programmers via one to one or one to many coding “battles” no matter where they are in the world. Think of Eminem’s rap battles in the movie 8 mile — but this time not for rappers but for programmers. (more…)

Improve Your Inductive Reasoning Through Mind360

by on August 5, 2009 at 11:56 pm

LogoRightBeta I recently learned about this cool Israel-based company Mind360, which develops mind games and it’s not just for older folks with aging brains.

As you get older that it’s harder to find where you left your car keys, your brush, even your cup of coffee while you’re running around the house trying to get out in the morning?

The brain is a muscle – I learned a lot about how the brain tools and retrains itself after my grandfather had a stroke. (more…)

Kaltura and Blonde 2.0’s event for Digg’s Matt Van Horn

by on August 4, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Guest Post written by guest author Ahuvah Berger

Last night Kaltura hosted an intimate gathering in honor of Digg’s Matt Van Horn’s arrival in Israel. The lovely mixer took place at the elegant Benyamin Wine Bar in Tel Aviv and we had a special musical performance by David Broza, an Israeli musical icon. We mingled and schmoozed over delicious wine and food. (more…)

SaaS Goes Open Source: Kaltura’s Yekutiel Tells Us Why

by on July 31, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Kaltura’s Ron Yekutiel talks to us about open source and video. They organized and participated in a SaaS Goes Open Source panel at AlwaysOn this week, together with SpikeSource, Zimbra, Acquia, Fenwick & West and Alfresco.

It’s disruptive he says, but tears down those gardened walls giving corporations better control, flexibility and better integration. More from Ron on the SaaS model, video and open source below.

My6Sense Updates Us

by on July 31, 2009 at 5:14 pm

Barak Hachamov and the My6Sense team gathers in Palo Alto to talk about their updates and upcoming iPhone app.

Blonde 2.0 Tries Hard to Get Me in Trouble

by on July 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm

One thing I've noticed during my six months of jet-setting is that entrepreneurs around the world want to be compared to Silicon Valley, but frequently get upset when you do it. Michael Arrington jokingly asks how I intend to piss off a whole country this time before I leave for any trip. (At least, I think he's joking…)

So, note the tap dancing below as Ayelet Noff asks me to compare Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to London entrepreneurs and Israeli entrepreneurs.

Staying Put for a While

by on July 19, 2009 at 7:21 pm

5372_116225402937_561367937_3052162_5256958_nI'm about one-third of the way through my 18-month death-march around the world seeking its best entrepreneurs, or as I call it in polite conversation, work on my new book. It's time for a break. Aside from a few day trips here or there I'm sticking in San Francisco for the next six weeks where I'll try to be a better blogger for TechCrunch, a more reliable columnist for BusinessWeek and get more actual writing on the book banged out. I'm going to keep working on learning Portuguese and Mandarin. I'm going to cook dinner for my husband. I'm going to reintroduce myself to my much-stood-up Pilates trainer. And I may even attempt to have a social life again.

I feel mixed about it. Most of me is screaming out for a break from 20-hour flights, endless meetings and the frustration that comes with interviewing someone from a totally different culture, who is frequently speaking a totally different language. (See photo to the right– just moments before a speaking gig. See sadder photo below. Human rights groups are investigating.) On Thursday as I was packing up to leave my hotel in London, scouring for every stray sock or earring, wondering what I'd leave behind this time (sunglasses as it turned out), and hoping I'd allotted enough time for customs, security and the like– I had a crushing feeling of I desperately, desperately need a month off!

3734304250_a2f375fe5c But as I reflect on everything I've seen and experienced during the 10 weeks I've spent in Israel, Rwanda, China and London, another part of me can't wait to get back on the road. When I set out to write this book, I didn't totally know what I was getting into, aside from the hope that it'd be important and the certainty that it'd be life-changing on a personal level. The first few months I felt a bit lost and concerned, but now, six months in, it's coming together. I've written several thousand words, discovered stories so dramatic they could be made into films and the big macro themes of book are shaping themselves in my head every day. The book is becoming less of an epidsodic travel narrative and more of a, well, book. As much work as there is ahead, I know now I've got something, and that's a huge relief. (See photo to below taken in a happier, more rested moment. Although note my sad, tired computer is missing an "R" key.) 3701043555_d0048be548

So as I pause for a bit, I wanted to thank everyone who's made the whole thing possible thus far: Dan Nova for introducing me to Rwanda, Roi Carthy and Orli Yakuel for being my den mothers in Israel, Tom Limongello for, well, everything in China, and Paul Carr for being my unofficial personal assistant in London, while Rachel Bremer set me up with some of the most impressive companies I've seen in the UK to date. Huge thanks also to Endeavor– the experts in emerging world entrepreneurship, and to BusinessWeek and TechCrunch for being endlessly supportive of this suicide-mission. And, of course, Olivia for taking care of the kitties in my absence, and Mr. Lacy for somehow putting up with all of this.

After the break, I'll finish the year with Brazil, China, India, and back to Israel. As always, let me know anyone I must meet.

[PHOTO CREDITS: Ayelett Noff, JD Lasica, Craig Newmark]

Every Israeli Has a Pitch

by on June 16, 2009 at 5:22 am

We interviewed multiple entrepeneurs and movers and shakers at the inaugural Israel Conference in LA a couple of weeks ago. The result? A four part video series which you can tune into below.

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

Part IV:

Also on YouTube although the full content is included here. Links: Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV.

Startups Need Stories

by on June 12, 2009 at 6:38 pm

The final panel at The Israel Conference crowded themselves onto the stage, three judges and five digital entertainment start-ups in a simulated Hollywood pitch meeting.

Photo of last panel

The most valuable lesson was the insight into how ideas are sold in the entertainment industry.  Apparently, the people who write the checks have attention spans that make Twitter seem like Tolstoy.   Or perhaps it’s just that in Hollywood pitching stories is the norm, so people need a narrative.

Like the rest of us, really.  When the judges looked bored their expressions were matched by the members of the audience.  One of the threads woven through the day’s panels was that we need to tell good stories.   The themes of Israeli character were brought up again and again, usually in the context of a story.  The conference included a surprise visit (and story) from Lou Lenart, one of the heroes of Israel’s war of independence.

Perhaps the most illustrative example on the panel was when Yosi Glick pitched Jinni, a movie search engine that helps you choose films based on search terms that have meaning and texture rather than flat keywords with no emotional content. Think – “I’m in the mood for…” instead of “Where are your action movies?”

Here’s how Glick, the company’s president, started: “I don’t know what movies my wife likes and I’ve been married to her for 24 years.  Plus I have no idea what her mood is.  So I have a challenge, because I want to save my marriage.”   His business idea was going to be the cavalry in his life’s own romantic comedy, and we were ready to buy tickets.

Shortly after he went to the slide presentation we started to get lost.  Most demos can’t avoid the PowerPointed details, but it all should feed the story – one of the judges, David Wertenheimer of USC’s Entertainment Technology Center, even suggested that he have some slides at the front and back of the presentation, at first fighting over a movie choice and at the end watching happily into the sunset. 

The other presentations are in streaming video available at the conference link above.  It’s worth a look, both for the content of the pitches and for the process itself.

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