It is that time of the month again for Startup Grind Toronto (@StartupGrindTOR), hosted by Michael Cayley (@MichaelCayley). This month’s guest was Robert Scoble (@Scobleizer)…yes that Robert Scoble, of such endeavors as Microsoft, Fast Company, and Rackspace.

He was out promoting his new book, “Age of Context”.

Scoble started the evening by giving his own small presentation, prior to sitting down and having a discussion. He spoke about ground breaking technologies poised to change the world in their respective industries, covering areas such as:



GPS in automobiles

The name of the game is personalization.

Example: Robert described grocery stores using new shelf scanners (sometimes known as price scanners) that connect with an app called Shelfbucks (@Shelfbucks). Founded by CEO, Erik McMillan (@erik_mcmillan), the app will tell you whether an item is something you usually buy or if you are paying more/less than the last time you purchased the product.

Shelfbucks can also help you keep a diet. If you are trying to eat better, or if you have food allergies, Shelfbucks can advise you whether or not to buy a certain food product. Awesome right? Products such as Shelfbucks are revolutionizing established industries.

Another topic discussed extensively was the idea of internet privacy (or lack thereof) across various technologies. With so many technologies that we use every day collecting data, including smart phones, social media, and location based systems:

Privacy is almost non-existent.

Robert theorizes that if we really wanted privacy as human beings, we would make that happen. We enjoy having things monitored and having other people know what we are doing. We like sharing.

If this were not true, then we would not be attracted to things like Facebook and Twitter or smart phones.

Scoble states that he has over 150 apps on his smart phone, actively uses Google Glass and Google Wallet. His information is out there, privacy is not his preference.

He finished the evening discussing a story about a recent flight he was on. While on the tarmac, his phone alerted him that the flight was indeed cancelled before the pilot told all the passengers. Between the time his phone told him about the cancellation and the pilot announcing the cancellation, he was able to book another flight for later that day that was nearly full.

Isn’t technology great?


One last thing. The 43North campaign (@forty3North) was announced. This is an opportunity for startups, or someone with a great idea, to pitch their idea or product and potentially earn $1 million to run their company in Buffalo, NY. You can already be an established, post-revenue startup, or someone with an idea and a couple of sketches. The best idea will win you $1 million, or there are several other prizes of $500,000. But that’s not all, the winner gets one year of free incubator space. Check it out at