I build technology companies. Sometimes I found them, sometimes they found me. Most recent Karma and previously Shapeways.

This is my playground. I write a lot, sometimes it ends up here. My original articles go into my blog and interesting articles I find on the internet go into my notebook.

LATEST

  • Smartphones: The Dark Side
    The BBC made this great documentary called “Smartphones: The Dark Side”. Obviously the smartphone and its apps are made to draw you in and entice you to spend more time on them. The ecosystem financial rewards are driven by you using it. It’s pretty much the same reasoning we used to have about TV. The NY Times wrote about it exactly 38 years ago. I’m of the opinion that we should look more at ourselves than blame the tech companies for bringing “addictive” products on the market. It’s interesting nonetheless.…
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  • Confused Alexa
    I’ve 3 echo’s around the house, but I’ve a love and hate relationship with Alexa. I love it because I can bark orders and she’ll obeys diligently by turning on or off the lights or telling me about the weather. She’s reasonably smart but for instance recently she couldn’t tell me how many Dalai Lama’s there have been. Two seconds on searching on my phone gave me the answer. But there are a few things which drive me nuts. Sometimes I call her schizo of it. When I set a timer one one, I can’t cancel it or ask about the timer on another She won’t even let me know when I’m somewhere else that the timer is up When I ask to turn on the lights, she has no concept of place so she’ll ask me “which lights?”. “Well since I’m downstairs and it’s dark, maybe downstairs?”. When I ask her to increase temperature, she asks me “which device?”. I’ve only one thermostat so what’s the point of that question. She knows that! Sometimes the TV is on and I can’t hear what she says. I ask her to turn up the volume. Then the TV is off and when I ask her something, she “screams” the response. Why can’t she just measure the ambient noise level and change her volume accordingly? When I ask her how long it will take to go to the office, she has no concept of what work means, but she doesn’t even ask me. Where is your office? And since we’re on the subject, Alexa doesn’t know the difference between me and my significant other. We’re all the same people to her. My office is not her office. Even if she would know the concept of office, she won’t be able to make recognize the difference. The fundamental question is if Alexa is one person for me or 3 different ones? Does she understand place and time? Does she recognize people? As much as I love using Alexa, it still feels like a unrefined product and it’s not really moving forward. I don’t care about 20,000+ skills nor do I care about TV or toaster with Alexa built in. I care about Alexa, but she isn’t growing up. She’s still a toddler.…
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POPULAR

  • Peak attention
    Random Thought

    We've reached peak attention on the internet. Time spent online is not significantly growing anymore. The internet has generated 4 champions (Google, Apple, Facebook & Amazon) who together dominate for the most part how you spent your time online. These companies are now at their peak and they have the momentum to buy, absorb or change their tactics to fend off any competitor. 

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  • Web vs native apps
    Random Thought

    The big promise of web 2.0 was that eventually all applications would run inside a web browser and that native apps would go away. This was in early 2000s. We’ve come a long way since then. Mobile hardware and networks significantly faster today. Web technologies have matured as well. Can web apps take over native?

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  • Future platforms
    Random Thought

    The major platforms emerging at the end of 20th century were computers and the internet. Both are approaching maturity levels. Each platform created new champions. Let's explore a bit on possible future platforms and what they could be.

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  • Artificial scarcity in the broadband market
    Internet

    The broadband market is changing. Consumers — and especially the younger demographics — are ‘cord cutting’. The cable companies made lots of money with offering Triple Play packages (Internet, TV and telephony) but now they are confronted with changing behavior which leads to price erosion.

    The cable industry is fighting back by putting artificial data-caps in place so they've a way out to increase prices down the line.

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  • The post-finishing waste land
    3D printing

    When you show a 3D printed product to someone who has not seen a 3D printed piece before, there is significant chance that the conversation will be about the material. And that is not surprising. 3D printed pieces look rough, show “printing lines”, and feel different than regular materials.

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  • Download a human
    Random Thought

    I do not believe in a Star Trekian future. Seriously I do not think it is a plausible future that we space travel as humans beyond our solar system. I think even Mars is quite a stretch.

    Instead I think it makes much more sense to download our human brain into a computer and send that computer instead.

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  • The hardest thing is giving away
    Random Thought

    You always end up with less when working at an early-stage startup. The company grows and you've to give away roles and responsibilities to others. It is inevitable for a growing company. But it's ok.

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  • Nobody cares about customization
    3D printing

    One of the major learnings of building a 3D printing online service, is that the demand of personal customization of products is overblown. People are just not that into it.

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  • Where we manufacture and the impact of 3D printing
    3D printing
    In my series on the impact of 3D printing, I wrote about my views of the impact on supply chain and product design. In today’s post, I write about manufacturing locations. This topic has already been partly covered in the post about supply chain, but I think there is more to say about it.
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  • Impact of 3D printing on supply chain
    3D printing

    If 3D printing becomes mainstream, I expect it will have a major impact on many aspects of manufacturing and design processes. This is a first post in series of posts on what impact 3D printing can have. Today, I am writing about the impact on supply chain.

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  • Endless forms of iterative design
    3D printing
    Hod Lipson and his team brought the concept of iterative design to the next level with their EndlessForms website. They combine evolutionary algorithms and generative encodings with crowd sourcing of designs. The results are interesting.
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  • Why AI is hard
    Random Thought

    Artificial intelligence was one of the first buzzwords I can remember from the previous century. It promised a future with intelligent computers or devices which could understand you and act autonomously.Up until now we still do not use AI-enabled devices in our daily life. Why is that?

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