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Theranos banned — now what’s the aftermath?

It took longer than people expected, but the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) came down hard on Theranos yesterday — banning the company and its CEO from owning or operating a medical lab for two years. As I’ve written before, this is an important story for Silicon Valley business and marketing leaders to follow because crises rarely just impact one company. They tend to drag down a category of…

Media Megastars and Superstars Q1'16

Snapchat + megastars dominate Q1’16 Unicorn Media Index™

Unicorns aren’t dead yet, though some would like them to be. Others claim we’re now in a “post-unicorn” world. Whatever the future holds, the class of $1B+ private companies continues to expand and contract weekly – providing a valuable microcosm to understand today’s tech trends and startup dynamics. To that end, we’re launching the first complete study that benchmarks visibility and momentum for 145 unicorns across news, social and search channels. This…

paranoia1

Media Savvy, Part 2: Sometimes the Paranoid Implode

Silicon Valley continues to be in the news for the wrong reasons. Theranos is the leading culprit – though not the only one – and it’s important for Valley companies to track what’s happening in the broader communications environment. Crises rarely just impact one company. They tend to drag down a category of like companies (at least temporarily) and embolden (or guilt) outsiders to ask tougher questions. To wit, this…

Image credit: Axis Imaging News

Tech Under Duress: Media Savvy or Media Sensitive?

Silicon Valley has been in the hot seat recently, with several companies facing major and minor media firestorms. Tesla was accused of using low-paid foreign labor for its factories. Facebook is defending itself against charges of editorial bias. Palantir is responding (or not) to staff turnover and customer satisfaction questions. And Theranos is battling a series of disclosures about lab management and technology efficacy, potentially resulting in a two-year ban against their high-profile CEO…

Unicorn Mega + Super Stars

Unicorn Media Index™: Who Ranks Where Across News, Social and Search?

Unicorns are a phenomenon. Over the past 18 months, they have gone from mythical creature to tech meme – spawning greed and envy for global entrepreneurs, investors and recruiters, while feeding the tech media engine with endless news stories, leader boards and Fortune cover stories. The “unicorn” concept was coined in Nov’13 by venture capitalist Aileen Lee, and refers to privately held start-up companies with valuations exceeding $1 billion. What…

Media Impressions Are a Sham—and 3 Steps to Better Metrics

Impressions are definitely not what they seem. At first, they were used as a foundational unit of measure for publishers and advertisers, who built an entire economy negotiating to buy impressions by the thousands. They evolved into a lingua franca of marketing measurement, providing a comparable way to evaluate reach (impressions) and efficiency (CPM) across marketing vehicles and media outlets. They were then adapted to digital and social channels, as…

PR vs. Content Marketing: Not Quite

As a long-time content marketer and public relations guy, I was intrigued — and conflicted — to see this headline yesterday: “PR is 80% More Effective Than Content Marketing.” Skipping past the headline capitalization issues (“Is” should be and “than” should not), half of me screamed “yes” and half of me sighed “oh no.” Then the data junkie in me rallied around the certainty of “80% more effective.” Time to…

Welcome to the Big Valley

I’m not the first to say it, and I won’t be the last: Silicon Valley is a special place. Sure it’s where most of the world’s leading-edge technology was born, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a culture, it’s an organism — and dare I say, it’s a convergence. Where top brains meet smart money in an entrepreneurial petri dish that keeps reinventing itself (and spawning new petri…