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David Holmes

David Holmes is Pando’s East Coast Editor. He is also the co-founder of Explainer Music, a production company specializing in journalistic music videos. His work has appeared at FastCompany.com, ProPublica, the Guardian, the Daily Dot, NewYorker.com, and Grist.
You can follow David on Twitter @holmesdm
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  • toy_car

    Shuddle raises $9.6 million for a ridesharing service safe enough for kids

    One of the most memorable segments at our 24-hour Don’t Be Awful fest came courtesy of Nick Allen, a former Sidecar executive and co-founder who had become disillusioned with the ridesharing ratrace. While the big competitors in the space like Uber and Lyft had made strides in improving background check requirements, the space still wasn’t safe enough to make, for example, many parents comfortable sending their child off with a driver belonging to one of these fleets. And so in a narrative we…
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    Forget Meerkat: SXSW is about big brands — and big bands — and has been for some time

    Ever since 2007, when an unassuming service called Twitter propelled itself into the pockets of early adopters and beyond at SXSW, a narrative has emerged around the festival that if you can “win” SXSW, you too can enjoy massive success and eventually a $30 billion market cap. The success of Foursquare at SXSW kept the narrative alive. And while Dennis Crowley’s app is slowly drifting further into obscurity each day, it’s clear that SXSW put the startup into a position to succeed,
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    Be your own coach: The case against activity trackers and the quantified self

    One of the most prevalent arguments made in defense of big data and sensor technology is that it can make us healthier. In the future, they argue, the notion of a “checkup appointment” will become obsolete. The sensors will always be “checking up,” alerting doctors, patients, and — perhaps problematically — insurance companies of any potential health problems. We still have a few years before that strain of dystopia takes over. But this so-called “quantified self” movement is already in full swing when it comes…
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    Minimum Viable Hipsters: How SXSW helped ruin both tech and indie rock

    As I exited the car in Downtown Austin, two young blonde women raced after the vehicle but were too slow to catch it. “How fucking hard is it to find a cab in this city?” One snorted to the other as the three of us found ourselves standing outside a party thrown by a streaming music startup. In an act of revenge on more reliable transportation, the first woman pushed over two bikes, a motion that, while in keeping with the casual fuck-the-world attitude bred by America’s fraternity and…
  • artist_coder

    After Amazon switches payment options for creators, Subbable sells to artist platform Patreon

    Again and again, small startups are warned against relying too heavily on large third-party platforms. Just as publishing businesses built on Facebook traffic are at the mercy of Zuckerberg’s News Feed algorithm, ecommerce companies that rely on Amazon’s infrastructure may fall prey to the company’s whims. That’s precisely what happened to artist funding platform Subbable — which lets fans send monthly payments to creators they love — when Amazon discontinued what’s known as Flexible Payment Services (FPS) in favor of “Login and Pay with Amazon.” The differences…
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    Fab’s Jason Goldberg weighs in on what he knows best: Fundraising

    “Raising Money. One of the few things I’m certainly good at.” Fab was, in the words of Michael Carney, “among the biggest whiffs we’ve ever seen in the private markets.” Jason Goldberg and Bradford Shellhammer’s ecommerce startup went from a billion dollar valuation to a proposed sale valuing its remaining parts at just $15 million. But despite whatever operational failings may have led to Fab’s demise, one thing Goldberg never had trouble with is raising money —…
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    VIDEO: How SoulCycle went from a business plan scrawled on a napkin to an IPO candidate

    When asked about what the future holds for SoulCycle, cofounder Julie Rice told the audience at this week’s PandoMonthly fireside chat in New York, “We think about different things every single day.” A cynic would say that only someone with something to hide would dare answer a question so vaguely. And they would be right, it seems: Sources revealed to Reuters today that the cult-like cycling chain, which began 9 years ago as a business plan written on a napkin,…
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    Watch the full fireside chat with Slack and Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield

    Few software products have ascended to the ranks of the billion dollar valuation club (or “Club Unicorn”) faster than Slack. The enterprise collaboration platform has found rabid fans in companies as diverse as WalMart, Adobe, and — ahem — Pando, thanks to its ease-of-use, wide range of functionality, and whimsical interface. And yet throughout Stewart Butterfield’s chat with Sarah Lacy on the PandoMonthly stage in San Francisco, he repeatedly downplayed these very narratives, calling his billion dollar status “arbitrary as…
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    “@SXSWPartyzzzzz” perfectly skewers the tech-damaged cultural mess that is South by Southwest

    On Sunday, I’ll fly out to Austin for my first-ever trip to SXSW. Veterans of the festival will surely tell me that I missed the boat on the event’s golden years, and that the SXSW of the past few years has become a corporate nightmare of brand-induced seizures and status-seeking culture whores. And judging by advents like the stage mocked up to look like a giant Doritos vending machine (pictured above), these critics aren’t wrong. So what better way to prepare…
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    What SoulCycle can teach you about scaling a company

    When SoulCycle founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice were announced to the PandoMonthly schedule, there was a bit of head-scratching, even from our staff. Our event series is all about technology entrepreneurs, so what are a couple fitness gurus doing on stage? Is this just our CEO Sarah Lacy indulging in her own well-documented SoulCycle fandom? Not in the slightest. First off, fitness is a crucial component of entrepreneurial lifestyle, and high-profile CEOs like Twitter’s Dick Costolo are among SoulCycle’s most devoted acolytes.…

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