Browsing articles from "December, 2007"

Technology I Can’t Live Without

When it comes to building product, “it just works” is key. All too often, technology makes life more complex. This time it’s different.

It’s been a while since my last blog entry, and that’s because it’s been an action-packed fall. I was involved with several new MDV deals, follow-on rounds of funding, and recruiting. As I continue up the venture learning curve, working with exceptional entrepreneurs in exciting markets continues to be incredibly rewarding. Time is more precious than ever, but I wanted to get in a post on technology that’s really making life easier.

Most often my relationship with the wireless carriers is a love/hate one: I love being able to access my e-mail, calendar, and contacts — and, how could I forget — even make the occasional phone call on the road. But I hate dropping yet another call on a well-traveled road like I-280.

Just recently, the IT people at MDV switched me over from my old, bulky, and slow Treo 700 to the Blackberry 8300. What a difference. It crashes less and browses faster. But the really cool feature is the Verizon Navigator application. It’s awesome.

You may be thinking — GPS — where have you been? In fact, I have a Garmin Nuvi 660 that serves me well. But I’ve just never gotten used to taking it on the road and it still takes a while to boot up and figure out where it is. A while back I bought a GPS kit for the Treo 700 but it never really worked for me; the application was slow, I couldn’t make calls reliably while it was running, the Bluetooth connection was intermittent, and I was always searching for the separate GPS device.

With Verizon Navigator on the 8300, there is no separate device and it finds my location just about immediately. It can also look up contacts in my contact list and has a remember my location function so I can easily get back to wherever I started out, which is particularly helpful when trying to get back to a rental car drop-off location or an airport in an unknown city. Since I always have my phone with me, I now always have a GPS – and it’s built right in. For $10 a month, it’s a great investment.

The other great piece of wireless technology I got recently was a Verizon wireless broadband card for my laptop. It’s so great I barely use 802.11 anymore. It’s simply awesome to be able to show up for a meeting early, turn on my laptop, and be connected. No need to get access to the wireless net – I’m already connected. Similarly, at the airport I can turn on my laptop and be on in a minute. I don’t have to find the wireless network and go through the account login hassle.

Whether I’m on the road, in my car, or at a company, everything from email to entertainment is now accessible. That’s the basis for a huge new wave of tech investing that I wish I could tell you more about. But there’s still one place I can’t get online. I’ve got to run. My flight is boarding.

Dec 17, 2007