rick robinson

  • Through This Ourglass, Watching TV in Public Is More Fun

    At the outset, Ourglass, based in Campbell, Calif., thought it was going to be selling hardware products to bars and restaurants. But why do that when you can give all that away and sell lucrative sponsorships? And how? By making the TV smarter of course. “Making TV smarter” has been the mantra for many a failed startup over the years.

    Street Fightin Social- 12 readers -
  • Friends Don’t Let Friends Dial Drunk — There’s a ‘Mode’ for That

    I can’t say I’m proud of working my way through the vices in this column. But if I do get to sloth, please somebody stop me. Let’s see, there was that time I wrote about an app to help you party and hook up with foreigners when you travel. Then of course I helped you get your high on with an app that led you by the nose to the nearest dispensary.

    Street Fight- 15 readers -
  • If the Gym Fits, Reserve It — Startup Makes It Easy to Never Miss a Workout

    How many times have you been stuck in traffic trying to get to the gym before the window closes and you need to be at work or home for dinner? I’m betting for many of you it’s a lot — certainly is for me. But suppose that gym on the other side of a sea of taillights was suddenly at the next off ramp? And, for that matter, the next ramp as well? What if it was at all of them? ...

    Street Fight- 22 readers -
  • CloudSponge: Soaking Up Your Contacts to Connect You Anywhere

    We’ve all been there — asked to open our address books so a software tool could swipe our contacts and email friends or neighbors to help spread the word about something of interest, or include them in the cool new app we just discovered. These days lots of services step up to help you do just that, and with the simplicity of a few clicks of approval. But do some do it better? Maybe.

    Street Fightin Social- 16 readers -
  • Voice Bots Have One Big Problem: Human Behavior

    I love you. What are the best shampoos to fight hair loss? When does the next season of Girls begin? Find local spas with a male masseur. What is the average weight of a 5’7” woman? Please make a dinner reservation for our anniversary. Find the nearest divorce lawyer. My boss is an imbecile. I hate you. Imagine saying these things aloud in an office setting, or in your home with others around.

    Street Fight- 25 readers -
  • Google Analytics for Brick-and-Mortar? Spatially Targets Where to Set Up Shop

    Creating a business is harder than you think. Even if you’ve done it before, your recollections are likely whitewashed by a self-preserving subconscious — a salve to the many pains of creating something from nothing and trying to keep it upright. When you own your own business, you worry about everything — from making payroll, covering inventory costs, drawing the necessary foot traffic.

    Street Fightin Google- 19 readers -
  • Post in the Machine: How Blockast is Taking a Shot at Local News Collection

    Were I to count the ways mainstream news outlets, hyperlocals and other hopefuls have tried to tackle the challenge of successfully covering local news for a mobile audience (which is to say… everyone), I’d need more hands. This is not to imply prior efforts have been in vain. Rather, for me, it’s evidence this nut is far from cracked.

    Street Fightin How To's- 27 readers -
  • The Buzz on Wikileaf: Compare Pot Prices Then Map a Route to Your Next High

    A GasBuddy for pot? Why not? At least that seems to be the conclusion of one Seattle-based entrepreneur, whose location-based pricing-and-reviews service wants a slice of what he estimates will be an $8 billion industry in 2017. Dan Nelson started Wikileaf as a guide for those looking to legally purchase marijuana (in all its forms) and become knowledgeable on exactly what a ...

    Street Fight- 20 readers -
  • Hand Delivery, No Lines, Pharmacist Chats — You Call This a Pharmacy?

    It’s right up there with sitting in rush hour traffic on the DC Beltway or hanging out in my doctor’s waiting room — the joy of picking up prescriptions. The local pharmacy was once a place with some communal value where you knew the pharmacist and (because the healthcare system was less laden with regulations) could expect to be in and out before needing to take a bathroom break.

    Street Fight- 14 readers -
  • Mobile 1.0 Had Its Own Uber: Recalling the Birth of the Future

    When mobile devices first arrived, they promised to unlock entirely new consumer behaviors around products and services — with the most successful experiences still rooted in core human desires to connect and interact, as on the desktop. And it was all going to happen soon (at least that was my premise in 2000 as head of the spanking new AOL Mobile products and content group).

    Street Fight- 13 readers -
  • Pingup and EatStreet Set the Table for Simple Digital Food Ordering

    Pingup and EatStreet Set the Table for Simple Digital Food Ordering September 27, 2016 by Rick Robinson Leave a Comment Filed Under: Turf Talk Ordering dinner is getting a little bit easier. Two powerhouses in the chain that links that Chicken Phad Thai to the plate on your table are partnering to simplify the process of actually getting it there.

    Street Fight- 9 readers -
  • App Connects Travelers With Revelers, Parties Ensue

    So you’re finally taking that big trip to Athens, Greece — the one you’ve talked about ever since daydreaming over pictures in a fifth-grade history book. You’ve got mental sketches of the incredible sights waiting to be colored in by reality: The Acropolis! The Parthenon! Zeus’s Temple! Beers with Mary! Wait, what? Well, maybe not necessarily beers, but certainly a party.

    Street Fightin Social- 9 readers -
  • Can Augmented VR Turn Window Shoppers Into Buyers?

    For starters, nobody wants to wear the headgear — those myriad virtual reality headsets that open a second life for our senses. Heck, people wouldn’t even wear the slender Google Glass to achieve an augmentation of their reality. As for the gamers and experiential entertainment enthusiasts, they’ll likely suffer the headsets just fine — during gameplay at least.

    Street Fight- 12 readers -
  • Local Loyalty: Klosebuy Plans to Bring Powerful Marketing to Main Street

    I’ve never really taken advantage of loyalty programs — at least not those that require me to do more than verbally communicate a number, like I do at my grocery store. Cards, coupons and their ilk (even when digitized) seem to slip into a clutter of potential savings that I have never seemed to tidy. But that’s me, and that was then.

    Street Fight- 20 readers -
  • TRAY Cooks Up Ways to Make Restaurant Checkout More Mobile and Social

    Despite the fact that Facebook, Twitter and even Pokémon Go are all packaged neatly within our phones — making certain no waking minutes are left unfilled — when you’re actually waiting on line for something, none of that really matters. People still just don’t like to wait. This is not lost on TRAY cofounders Peter Kellis (CEO) and Philippe Dauman Jr. (COO).

    Street Fight- 12 readers -
  • Your Local Broadcast: Centric Finds the Cameras in Your Neighborhood

    Couple of thoughts: 1) I appreciate aggregation. Why ask me to traverse several sites when one destination pulls them all together in an easily digestible package? RSS feeds have enabled this sort of thing, as have many content plays over the years. 2) Anyone who has read my column knows that I more than appreciate great geo-centric services.

    Street Fight- 10 readers -
  • Picking the Locksmiths: Bizyhood Unlocks the ‘Ghosts in the Data’ Problem

    What would you do if you wanted to game Google into thinking you’ve got a vast network of local shops servicing area customers based on their search queries? No need to ask as some sharpies have already figured it out, according to a recent New York Times report. It seems the answer is to become a ghost — or thousands of them. Google acknowledges this is the case as well.

    Street Fightin Google- 11 readers -
  • ClipCall Uses Mobile and Video to Help Consumers Connect With Home Service Providers

    About five years ago the company I helped co-found (Urgent.ly) had designs on delivering on-demand home services to consumers who were fed up with calling a plumber — while standing ankle-deep in water in the basement — only to find they had no idea when the service professional would arrive. Ultimately we turned from the home services space to reinventing roadside assistance, ...

    Street Fight- 10 readers -
  • Will an ‘Internet of People’ Threaten the On-Demand Heavies and Give Power to SMBs?

    In short order we’ve seen a share of local commerce move from brick-and-mortar to digital to mobile, as SMBs discovered new ways to take advantage of the variety of platforms promising efficiency in connecting small businesses with consumers. But always through some conduit (Yelp for example, or Uber) and less frequently direct. Less… business owner-to-consumer. And that may now be changing.

    Street Fight- 9 readers -