Tag Archives: CEO

Taskrabbit Gives You An Extra Set of Hands to Help

Taskrabbit will run errands if you need it

While I was in San Francisco a few weeks back, I learned about Taskrabbit. It’s a great way to get the help you need for certain projects. My friend, Adria was using this service to get shirts wrapped so she could hand them out at an event.

What is TaskRabbit

I talked with Jamie Viggiano, head of corporate Marketing for TaskRabbit – where I learned how the company came to be.

Task Rabbit was founded 2008 in Boston. Lea Buske – our founder and CEO – ran out of dog food one night for her hundred pound yellow lab. If you know Boston, it was cold, it was snowy in February. She needed to get dog food and she was actually on her way to dinner. She thought to herself, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a place online where you can go, say you need dog food – she was sure there was someone in her local area (maybe even at the store at that moment) that could help her out. That’s when the concept started.

At TaskRabbit, you can outsource anything. From picking up items in the store to running your company (OK, an exaggerated stretch – but you could do it). Simply go to the site and enter the task you wanted to have accomplished. Set the price and wait for a rabbit to be assigned. When they complete the task you sign off on the work and they get paid.

About the TaskRabbits

Who Are Taskrabbits
Who Are Taskrabbits

Taskrabbits are people who have some extra time on their hands. Rabbits have to go through an employment application process to be hired. When you get accepted and complete the training program, you start doing tasks. When you are ranked on Taskrabbit, you get ranked on the Leaderboard. With this process you know your rabbit will work hard for you.

You Might Not Need to Be in a Taskrabbit Location to Get Certain Tasks Done

TaskRabbit is currently only in Boston, San Francisco, San Antonio, Austin, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and New York City. However if you have a task that is not dependent on the city, you can use the service.

I have run a couple tasks already posting to websites. I had my rabbit do a specific article for four weeks – which she did without lots of direction. It was great to actually have some help when you need it.

So if you need to have someone run an errand, clean your house, write a blog post, make food, help with a party or whatever – Check out Taskrabbit for help!

Siri Founder Dag Kittlaus Leaves Apple

Dag Kittlaus
Dag Kittlaus

Dag Kittlaus has been planning this for a while, reports at AllThingsD. But today, Kittlaus has left Apple and the program he created. All just weeks after Siri debuted.

He created and led speech recognition for Siri. Kittlaus was actually CEO of Siri since 2007. In 2010, Apple bought the software for an undisclosed sum (although Business Insider estimates around $100-200 million). Along with Kittlaus was Adam Cheyer (VP of Engineering), Tom Gruber (CTO), and Gummi Hafsteinsson (VP of Product), who are not expected to leave Apple.

Dag Kittlaus stated this was a mutual departure, planned before Siri was introduced last month. He wants to spend more time with his family in Chicago. He also wants to start brainstorming new ideas.

Siri, in the meantime, still continues to be a hit on the iPhone. The latest commercials show all the things you can now do with your mobile device. It has spawned a Siri clone (called Iris) on Android within 8 hours.

Dear Yahoo!: Just Sell it Already.


Dear Yahoo!:

It’s time. Time to make a decision. Time to stop holding onto the past. Time to realize you were on the top of game in 2000, but now it’s 2011. Time to see that Yahoo! is Yahover.

Can you turn the company around as Jerry Yang talked about during AsiaD in Hong Kong? Anything can happen. But you are not willing to put the money in to do that. Investors are weary and you have no leadership.

If I was your business analyst (and that isn’t even my profession), I would tell you what I tell other companies that choose not to sell:

  1. Change your name
  2. Set a new 2-year business plan
  3. Get a CEO that knows Social Media
  4. Re-build your look and feel
  5. Re-build your clientele

Did I just say “Change your name?” YES! When I hear Yahoo! I think of a company that was on top of their game back in 2000. Eleven years later and I don’t associate Yahoo! with today. I associate Google, Microsoft or Facebook. I even have a better chance of associating AOL  with 2011 over Yahoo!

Even the best business person will buy land just for the land. They’ll strike down the building and create a new epicenter. If the roof leaks and the foundation is shaky; if the building takes more energy to keep going, then rebuilding might take less money than repairing.

I wouldn’t fret, though. You really helped shape the Internet. You should be proud of that. Now it’s time to save what’s left of the company and maybe put together a new venture. I hear Microsoft is putting together a bid, among others. It’s not going to be $31 a share as in 2008, but I would guess it will be comparable.

If you are going to keep it, then find someone that can turn this company around. Get a CEO that knows what’s going on in the new media space. Someone that is active in Social Media. Someone that will bring new blood into the company.

Someone that doesn’t want to hear about this anymore.

Pogoplug Mobile Lets You Put Your Cloud on Your Desk


In this day and age, we talk about Cloud like a car dealer talks cars. We put stuff in the cloud and take it down. We don’t even know where this cloud is – but a lot of us trust it for our photos, music, movies and more.

Now we can put a cloud on our desks, and share media through our mobile device. All through Pogoplug.

Pogoplug is a device you plug into your network, plug in your USB drives, then share the contents across the web. You can set access to private or public viewing on desktop, iPhone, iPad, Android or other mobile device. You can also set permissions so your workmates can collaborate on files.

Today, Pogoplug announced their newest product in the line of devices. Pogoplug mobile is a version of Pogoplug geared at taking all the media off your smartphone and keeping it on your personal cloud.

“Pogoplug Mobile is the perfect companion to your mobile phone or tablet.” says CEO Daniel Putterman. “Not only can you stream the media from your hard drives straight to your mobile device over WiFi or your cellular connection but you can also automatically back up your camera roll to your Pogoplug.That means, no matter where you are, the photos and videos you take on your mobile phone are automatically backed up to your Pogoplug.”

Pogoplug Mobile lets you attach USB drives and now SD cards into the device. You configure the drives up on my.pogoplug.com, then download an application for your PC, Mac or mobile device. When configured, you can access your mobile data through your own cloud.

Prices for Pogoplug Mobile start at $79.99 (£59.99 in the UK). For more information, go to Pogoplug Mobile site ). It is also one of the 5 Backup Cloud Solutions I reported on back on September 21st. You can also check out the video we did with Pogoplug at CES2010.

Carol Bartz Out, Where Does Yahoo! Go? Time to Change the Name!


It’s another chapter in the failing Yahoo! book. Yesterday, Carol Bartz – then CEO of Yahoo! got an ceremonious firing from the board. Now, with the dust settling, and Jerry Yang saying the company is still not for sale, where does the now-less diminished company go from here?

Rebuilding Phase – a Name Change, perhaps?

I get told time and again – If you want a fresh start, infuse with a new name. Yahoo! is pretty much a name dragged in the mud. Yahoo! represents the internet from 1999. It’s 2011 – Time to get with the times. Put away the preppy clothes, the teased hair and go with something a little more modern.

A new name could bring confidence back in the company and the customers. A fresh logo that means “The future of computing is here”. Then, of course, you will have to back that statement up…

Fire the Board of Directors? Including Jerry Yang.

Jerry Yang
Jerry Yang says "Yahoo is not for Sale"

Om Malik said it best – Fire the Board. If you’re gonna shake up things, do it right. The board has been flailing since the Microhoo! days. Get a new cast to make decisions and get things done. Om has a great list of who should be on this board.

I am going to take it one step further. Jerry needs to step back even more. The new board has to have free-thinkers with no pressure from Yang. They have to take a major left-turn to keep their businesses satisfied.

Get Back in the Game

During Bartz’ 2 year CEO run, a lot of programs were shut down or sold. Whatever is left should also get some type of a face-lift. Collect the patents and figure out a new plan.

Yahoo might even want to start talks with Facebook. Put a new presence in this social network (since they’ve pretty much destroyed all their social network opportunities). Since they also have a partnership with Microsoft, this might be a really nice fit overall.

Open Up to Everyone

Google does this so well (ok, maybe not with YouTube, but everything else) – Open up to the community. Ask what you want. It worked with Linus Torvolds in creating Linux. Take the information and create something around that.

With items like business email, you cannot do that, but with consumer products like search and home page, open it up and let the consumer feel they have a hand in sculpting.

There has to be 3 items that people are clambering for in the last few years that could be easily integrated. Show the people that you are listening to them.

These are just a few ideas. In thinking of it more, the name change most likely be the best move. After all – if you think Yahoo!, what do you think of? A website that is the future, or a company that represents the past?

Hauppauge Colossus HD Video Recorder PCI Express Card

Ken Plotkin, the CEO of Hauppage (www.hauppauge.com), describes the Colossus HD H.264 Video Recorder PCI Express card for the PC. The Colossus card is designed to record high definition video from sources such as an X-Box 360, Playstation 3, as well as high definition video coming from a cable TV or satellite box via component video outputs on those devices, thus avoiding the DRM problem. The Colossus HD Video Recorder retails for $169 dollars, available in the first week in February 2011. According to Plotkin, the Colossus is the only recorder solution available that can record high definition video from component video outputs.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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