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    What’s With All the Hyper-Growth Startups?

    Why is it that Viddy, Socialcam, Pinterest, and others have suddenly accelerated their growth in such a short timeframe? The surface answer is, of course, the integration with Facebook’s open graph. But that’s the symptom, not the cause.

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    Groupon Earnings: Is the Cute Email Company Ready to Be a Real Business?

    Groupon has had a rough quarter. A rough year, even. No clear road to profitability, a disastrous accounting mistake, that beer-swilling meeting. The stupid Earth Day email. The company has become a punch line and cautionary tale. Even the Daily Deals summit — an event created for an industry created by Groupon — was more than a little sad. You don’t have to look far to find Groupon haters. And yet, today’s redeeming earnings report…

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    Chill Aims to be “Front Door of Video,” User Count in 8 Digit Range

    In a dingy converted apartment building off Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, there’s a startup revolutionizing online video discovery and curation. Cough. Buzzword. Cough. Skepticism. I had exactly these reservations, when I first heard the pitch about Chill. Then I took the product for a spin with co-founder Brian Norgard and did some research about user statistics. Consider me “un-reserved.”

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    Advertising is Hated — and Failing

    People hate ads, with two exceptions: A) Sometimes one particular ad campaign will strike the public fancy, or B) Sometimes people happen to be in the ad business and, thus, are paid to like ads. In general, people hate ads so much that they’ve made ad avoidance an art. A tool that facilitates skipping ads is now part of a standard cable sign-up package. There is software that removes ads from webpages. Ads are used as a punishment, such as…

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    AngelPad Doesn’t Make Many Mistakes, But Maybe It Should

    Four classes of startups in the books over two years and Bay Area incubator AngelPad “hasn’t had an oops” yet, according to co-founder Thomas Korte. Well thats about as exciting as elevator music and it’s equally as likely to produce a 100x return on investment. With the ambitious plan AngelPad has laid out, and the very nature of startups, this batting average likely means that its companies are not taking enough risks. Maybe it should shoot for a few more mistakes…
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    Blowing Up: Cmune Takes Uberstrike to iPad (Soon) and Wins Funding from Atomico

    Quick – name a first-person shooter game that you can play on Facebook. If Uberstrike didn’t immediately come to mind, you must not be one of the 5 million gamers playing it. The free-to-play and cross-platform game is doing crazy numbers and is set to explode on the iPad and Android tablets. It has more than 800,000 Likes on Facebook, was downloaded 1 million times through the Mac App Store (amounting to 1 percent of all downloads), and has…

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    Fred Wilson Is Wrong About The Problem With Venture Capital

    Last week Forbes ran a story in which Fred Wilson discussed the challenges facing the venture capital industry. According to the piece, he said, “The biggest issue: there is simply too much money.” I have the utmost respect for Fred, but I think framing the problem as “too much money” is like saying gamblers lose in Vegas, because they’re rich. People don’t lose because they have too much money, they lose because they don’t know how to play.

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    Behance Goes from Bootstrapped to VC-Backed with $6.5 Million Funding

    Thomas Edison’s saying that “Genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration,” has served as New York-based Behance’s guiding principle since the company’s founding in 2006. Today, though, the quote would have to mention $6.5 million in funding to be completely relevant. The funding round – Behance’s first – was led by Union Square Ventures, which was  joined by Jeff Bezos (via the Bezos Foundation), Chris Dixon, Dave McClure, and others.

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    Refer.ly Launches Influencer Affiliate Platform Ahead of YC Session

    Share links and earn rewards! It sounds like a shady Internet get-rich-quick scheme. Or a way to spam your friends in exchange for pennies. There is a reason pay-per-tweet businesses geared at average Joes and Janes haven’t quite taken off. But word-of-mouth marketing is so damn tempting to capitalize on, especially when social media allows us to track and attribute every successful recommendation. Someone just needs to do it well. That’s the basic premise of Refer.ly, a startup…

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    Real Founders of Silicon Valley: Those Bravo-Inspired Entrepreneurial Events In Full

    Regular readers will know that PandoDaily has been somewhat, ah, skeptical of Bravo’s new “Silicon Valley” reality show, which begins shooting next month. “Snobs!” cried one critic. “Wait until you know more details before you judge!” wailed…well, actually, the exact same critic who in no way has been lobbying for a cameo on the show. And, sure enough, now that said details have begun to emerge, it appears we may have entirely underestimated the legitimacy of “Silicon Valley.”

The Week in Review

Friday

female-voices-silicon-valley1 Fair warning: Pandoland is not that kind of conference Read all 13 recaps from our sleepless House of Cards marathon Courts deem CallFire a common carrier, setting a major precedent at intersection of telecom and tech law An average season ends on a high note: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 13, reviewed “An empire without heirs.” House of Cards Season 3, Episode 12, reviewed Will Claire jump? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 11, reviewed Facebook now allows its users, not a drop-down menu, to define their genders How Frank got his groove back: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 10, reviewed Kim Dotcom’s Mega is dropped by PayPal over end-to-end encryption, may adopt Bitcoin instead Prepare for war? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 9, reviewed The War Nerd: Why did Mohammed Emwazi become Jihadi John? Has Frank become… boring? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 8, reviewed Twitter keeps Dick Costolo’s promise with new anti-harassment tools Will Frank lose his Lady Macbeth? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 7, reviewed “I should’ve never made you president.” House of Cards Season 3, Episode 6, reviewed SF’s real income inequality issue isn’t hipsters priced out of homes — It’s the homeless What House of Cards gets wrong about Russia: Season 3, Episode 5, reviewed Another episode, another enemy: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 4, reviewed Has Frank Underwood met his match? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 3, reviewed “You are entitled to nothing.” House of Cards Season 3, Episode 2, reviewed Meet President Underwood: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 1, reviewed