The Cringely boys Kickstart Mineserver™, a $99 Minecraft server

When my three sons, ages 13, 11, and 9 decided to do a summer business together I thought it could be almost anything. After all, they’ve visited three dozen tech startups with me in our RV and they’ve been surrounded by technology entrepreneurs their entire lives. What business would it be?

I just never expected a $99 Minecraft server.

It’s brilliant, really. Minecraft is hugely popular but the Minecraft hardware market is almost nonexistent. It’s not that nobody thought to do such a server but that it’s a business idea most entrepreneurs would see as not having legs. It will scale, sure, but will it endure? In a few months someone — no doubt someone in Asia — will copy the idea, […]

Fathers Day 2015


Fathers Day 2015

The KickStarter Paradox

Among the great business innovations of the Internet era are KickStarter and the many similar crowdfunding sites like IndieGoGo. You know how these work: someone wants to introduce a new gizmo or make a film but can only do so if you and I pay in advance with our only rewards being a possible discount on the gizmo or DVD. Oh, and a t-shirt. Never before was there a way to get people — sometimes thousands of people — to pay for stuff not only before it was built but often before the inventors even knew how to build it. From the Pebble smart watch to Veronica Mars, crowdfunding […]

A tale of three voicemails

Update – Audio problem solved (I hope). Just click on the play button at the bottom of the text.  Sorry.

I have three sons, Channing, Cole, and Fallon, who as of this week are 13, 11, and 9, respectively. They are all bright boys, full of energy, and completely different from each other. You can see this even in their approach to voicemail.

Each kid goes to a different school and since this mountain we live on has never seen a school bus that means one of us (usually Mama) drives to three schools, dropping a kid at each. To coordinate all this, we thought it was important for every kid to have a phone — all Samsung Galaxy S5’s. Yes, I have Android children.

Cole (11) […]

Apple’s iPad Problem

ipadboyzMy three sons share an Apple iPad given to them by Mimi, their grandmother. When she bought it a couple years ago the iPad was top-of-the-line with 64 gigs and a Retina display. The boys run it hard on car trips where it functions as a hotspot and under covers in their bedrooms along with a couple iPhones, iPod Touches, various Kindles and some cheaper seven-inch Android tablets. In all we have probably a dozen touchscreen devices in the house but most of the action takes place on iPhones or that one iPad. Great for Apple, right? Not really. Apple’s iPad sales are dropping you see and the reason nobody seems to […]