Posts Tagged: Startups
5

The Airbnb Hole

It is not the fault of Airbnb that its new logo looks like an anatomical negative space, a hole, its chief technology officer, Nathan Blecharczyk, would like to everyone to know: We wouldn’t want to design a logo that caters to the lowest common denominator. This was a yearlong undertaking for dozens of people, it’s something meaningful, and no one pauses to really understand that.

But when one gazes into the hole—for how can one not—the tumble begins almost immediately, through the hole, beyond the hole. The world and every possible concern, hope, fear, or dream dissolves completely, leaving just you and the hole—you are [...]

13

The Bros Who Inherited the Earth

Here's the guy who runs Uber, which has raised over $300 million:

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick says he was not getting any ladies when he was previous startups were tanking. “It’s great now!"

— Nicholas Carlson (@nichcarlson) May 28, 2014

And the guy who co-founded RapGenius, which has raised over $15 million because it's the darling of two of the most influential investors in the world:

(Previously: "I'mma rape you in your mouth")

And finally, this is the guy who founded Snapchat, writing in 2009: Bro, these three samples were collected from this week alone: This isn't a fluke! This is who wins [...]

8

Date Ivy: Inside IvyConnect's Exclusive Dating Scene

It was when she asked for my business card that I knew we’d never fall in love. What I had hoped would be a flirtatious conversation quickly became an elevator pitch about her investment bank’s philanthropic efforts in Latin America.

I’ve always been willing to go beyond my comfort zone in dating. Earlier this year, I gladly let an almost-girlfriend coerce me into a Bed, Bath & Beyond trip for high-thread-count bath towels that I neither wanted nor needed. In high school, I saw an inordinate amount of ballet, hip-hop and modern performances for someone whose real interest was West Suburban Silver Conference football. I’ve gamely eaten vegan Mexican food, [...]

6

Why A News Portal Snapped Up A James Deen Furry Cosplay Gif Site

Yahoo buying Tumblr is digital gentrification.

— Jason Chen (@diskopo) May 19, 2013

The question of the weekend is: "Why did Yahoo! spend one-third of their cash on hand to buy a company that by all accounts is about to run out of money?"

And here are some fairly sober answers, including: "if you were given 1.1 billion dollars, would you be able to build a service used by more than ten million people for more than an hour a month? You could not. That's a bigger audience than American Idol, or for that matter anything else (except Facebook or Twitter)." That's very attractive!

(I mean [...]

7

The Artisanal Subscription Internet Has A Menstrual Tea Kettle For Everyone

We really are living in the golden and ridiculous age of home delivery subscription startups. Ad Age has a list of its 14 wackiest subscription service startups—and perhaps I am lazy and entitled but almost none of them sound that zany to me. (Why is everyone making fun of HelloFlo, apart from its silly name, or any of the 1500 services that serve the lady-product market? I would be thrilled to receive tampons every month in the mail… if I had a doorman. Or someone to receive them for me regularly. Or yeah, guess it's "going to the deli" for me.)

My real beef with most of [...]

55

The Pretty New Web and the Future of "Native" Advertising

Something is going on with the Internet, and, once again, it's fun, but maybe not that fun. There's a rash of actually quite cool new "products"—services, websites, "apps" (sigh)—and they have a lot in common. From our pals at Branch to things like Medium and Svbtle (oh that name) and on back to Pinterest, and then forward to a few other projects in development, well… there's a visual language going on, for one thing, and it's like John Herrman writes: It's an internet where every blog is Daring Fireball, where every post looks like Instapaper, where every discussion is led by its rightful leaders, and where [...]

9

Meet Your New Food Magazine, "Graze"

The brand new Graze magazine, based out of Chicago and so far entirely supported by food events, has just published issue number one. You'll never take my subscription to Gastronomica but you definitely had me at "In search of Cambodia’s ancient stinky cheese"! Only $10 for the first issue!

10

The Uber Bomb Detonates in New York

Have you been in a New York cab recently? Sometimes prompted but more often not, drivers will want to talk to you about Uber. If you're in a yellow cab or a livery car, you will hear about Uber the virus, Uber the interloper, Uber the merciless invader; if you're in an Uber cab, or an Uber-adjacent green taxi, you'll hear about Uber the inevitable, Uber the strange, Uber the great (for now). It's been a boom time for untethered drivers—a magical stretch during which they could take advantage of high fares, high demand, and low barriers to entry all at once. It was acknowledged, rarely explicitly, that the arrangement [...]

0

What Was Money?

What was money?

A medium of exchange; a system by which tokens were assigned value by a central authority for use within a regulated system of commerce.

What was money for?

Acquiring things that you needed to live or believed you needed to be happy.

What happened to money?

"Uber Technologies Inc. is seeking to join the $10 billion-plus club. The San Francisco-based startup, which makes a mobile application for car-service booking, is in talks to raise new financing in a round that may value it at more than $10 billion, according to people with knowledge of the situation. That would almost triple the company’s [...]

12

What Do The Apps Want From Us?

App updates seem to come in waves. One minute you've obsessively completed updates, the next minute, your folder or app store icon on your phone has a big red "22" badge on it. Around half of all updates are minor but useful bug fixes. Sometimes they're incredibly undersold security updates, a little trick Tumblr pulled this week when they realized that they were sending passwords in plain text. (No one really went crazy about this, surprisingly, because we live in password denial: "Some company that you exchange information with is going to reveal your password to someone else.") This week's app updates cluster revealed something more interesting: lots [...]

4

Frightening Man To Use Wealth To "Target" Women On Internet!

A "serial entrepreneur" is in "stealth mode" for his "new blog" which, he reveals, is going to "target female readers," because "so much of the new media publishing focus is still on men" and "there is a massive market failure going on right now" and "so few new media properties have tried to capture the demographic ." No, I've actually cherry-picked the good sentences

I know, it's so crazy, absolutely no one has touched the market for women online, now maybe finally someone will build a web publishing company that "targets female readers" and then take it public, because what an amaaaaazingly good [...]

21

What Exactly Does New York City Offer Tech Startups Besides High Taxes?

To be fair, there are a thousand reasons to be based in New York City: it's great, the talent is great, it's magical, all that jazz. Don't like living or working anywhere else. Plus, there's a Starbucks everywhere for when you have a cruddy office with no conference room. That is A+. Oh but wait, why would you support a non-NYC startup with coffee money? Take that meeting to, say, Gregory's Coffee. But what has the City done for you lately, besides offering terrific mass transit service and a lack of affordable rent? Mayor Bloombucks has gone on the charm offensive once more about tech startups: "New York Mayor [...]

9

Startup Evangelist Makes 300,000 Whole Dollars In Just Eight Years

Why don't you lazy women want to throw away your money investing in pyramid schemes startups? This man literally doubled his money by angel investing—in just eight short years. Don't you silly girls want in on this big man business?

12

The Turntable.fm Story So Far

"In an e-mail to Stickybits's investors, the pair explained Turntable and gave them a choice: They could take back what money remained or stick with them. All except one kept the faith. Chasen's announcement, made the day the staff returned from the winter holiday, was abrupt: The developers, with one exception, would cease work on Stickybits immediately. The business side would wind down client relationships. Left unsaid: All except a skeleton crew would soon leave the company." —An enjoyable story about the path to date of Turntable.fm. It's also an interesting reminder that entrepreneurs may be "job creators" but also sometimes they lay off everyone along the way.

8

What Was Money, Part Infinity

Uber, the most valuable bro startup in history, has been valued at $18.2 billion. Crazy, right? Or is it? asks Andrew Ross Sorkin. "But here’s another way to think about Uber’s whopping valuation: It is still too low."

After all, he notes, "consider the 'smart money' that plowed $1.2 billion into the company before its recent valuation, only 10 months after it was valued at only $3.5 billion: Fidelity Investments, BlackRock, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Google Ventures, Menlo Ventures and Wellington Management and Summit Partners." This is true: not one of these venture firms has ever contributed to the wildly inflated value of a [...]

0

The West Coast Plot To Destroy New York City

April 27, "Despite Big Ambitions, New York’s Tech Scene Is Still Starting Up":

[I]nvestors are still betting on the city. The amount of venture, angel and private equity money invested in New York soared about 200 percent from 2009 to 2013, to $3 billion from $799 million, according to CB Insights, a data analysis firm that specializes in venture capital trends. Silicon Valley, by contrast, took in $11.4 billion in 2013.

April 22, "[...]

3

"Dad’s company made hamburgers; mine ate them."

"Web start-up companies are like play-companies. They stand in relation to real companies the way those cute little make-believe baking stations stand in relation to kitchens."

1

What Happens After You Sell Your Startup

This Tumblr is just hypnotic: Our Incredible Journey collects the deadly combination of "We've been acquired, now our company will be amazing!" with the inevitable "We've suspended service to focus on Google/Facebook/Yahoo's core products" announcements. (via)

3

Dong-Free Chatroulette Fails to Attract Users, Probably Due to Lack of Surprise Dong

"AppData, a service that collects data about sites and services that connect with Facebook, indicated that Airtime had just 400 users a day and 10,000 over the course of a month, but Mr. Parker and other executives at the company suggested those figures were off. Nielsen and comScore, two independent analytics firms, both said that traffic to Airtime was so small that it did not yet register on their charts." —Aggressive Facebook-harvesting startup Airtime is surely going to pivot to a dong-related market.

9

Paywall Company CEO Trashes Newspaper Clients As His Business Folds

"Ongo," founded in 2009, was going to be the centralized newspaper paywall system. Companies like the Washington Post, the New York Times Company and Gannett poured in a few million dollars to find a solution to delivering ad-free news to people who would pay for it. They launched their product in January of 2011, and at the end of this month, they will close their doors (and, as you do, lay off their employees). Here's the now-former CEO, Dan Haarmann, on his way out the door, talking to Nieman Journalism Lab: “I hate advertising in my news. I cannot stand people trying to send me a mortgage or [...]