Friday, December 23, 2016
Reflections on 2016: Michael Jones, Science, Inc.
This holiday season, we are again sharing the reflections on 2016 from Southern California's technology ecosystem. This reflection comes from Michael Jones of Science, Inc. (www.science-inc.com), the startup studio which has been behind such companies as Dollar Shave Club, Famebit, HelloSociety, and many others. Jones is also the former CEO of MySpace.
What's was biggest news from you or your firm this year?
Michael Jones: This year, our fifth year, was a major one for Science. Three of our portfolio companies saw 3 big exits - HelloSociety was acquired by the New York Times, Dollar Shave Club was acquired by Unilever, and Famebit was acquired by Google. These exits have really validated our team's vision and that the talent and ideas that we invest and believe in.
What's the biggest lesson you learned this year?
Michael Jones: Simplification. This year marked a simplification of many things in my life, from aspects of my home life and activities out of work - to simplifying the focus within Science, our portfolio and team - for me I have learned the more focused I am the better the results.
What's your favorite technology gadget, device, or innovation you ran across this year?
Michael Jones: Earny, a bot that tracks purchases, files and redeems price protection/adjustment claims automatically for customers. It's the app everyone needs but don't realize it, as there are millions of unclaimed dollars each year. Just a few weeks after Earny launched, Amazon ended their price adjustment policy.
Finally, what do you think will have the biggest impact on the technology industry in 2017?
Michael Jones: Facebook Live had a huge year, and dramatically improved live streaming for wide audiences. I think as TV becomes more and more obsolete (millennials aren't watching traditional TV), more companies will arise and learn how to harness the power of the Facebook Live platform as a way to deliver digestible and interesting streaming video.