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  • ipad-camera

    Predictions from abroad: Tablet photography and voice dictation are coming in a big way

    After three weeks of traveling through New Zealand I’ve come to an unexpected conclusion: tablet photography is here to stay. Moreover, I’m not convinced that’s a bad thing. Blasphemy, I know. It’s one of several things that stood out among the mobile usage patterns I observed while spending extended time away from the US. (Another being that we’re in for an explosion in the use of voice dictation and virtual assistants. I’ll get to that in a moment.) Time and…
  • bitcoin_infographic (crop)

    Bitcoiners prefer finance and kindles to sex: A revealing look into the interest graph of crypto-currency users

    Once the shadowy curiosity of single, 32-year-old libertarian males, bitcoin is going mainstream. Look no further than old school media companies like the Wall Street Journal and Forbes dedicating exclusive areas of their online publications to the cryptographic digital currency. Morning TV news shows have also gotten on the bandwagon. Earlier this month, the Chicago Sun Times, the ninth largest US newspaper by readership, took it a step further by conducting a bitcoin paywall trial that allowed users…
  • referrals

    Hacking startup referral programs for fun and profit

    When you put the words Uber and micro-entrepreneurship in the same sentence, you might naturally think about drivers building their own livery businesses. But it turns out that may not be the only way to make money on the platform. A few LA entrepreneurs, all of which have asked to remain anonymous, found another more lighthearted approach to monetizing Uber. Around the new year, Uber and several other prominent technology companies offered souped up referral bonuses for existing users who…
  • bitcoin-judge

    Angry eBay merchant plans to sue PayPal for anti-bitcoin activity

    Decentralized virtual currencies are largely unregulated leading to a wild west situation between merchants, end users, and service providers. Illustrating this fact, one eBay merchant doesn’t like the way he’s been treated by PayPal, the marketplace company’s subsidiary payment platform, and has decided to sue. If the details of a 2,138 word comment posted to the message board at 3:51am PT today by user TerraHasher (Terra) are to be believed, PayPal has been repeatedly freezing his assets and harassing him for…
  • Lifehacker

    Hack your New Year’s resolutions with these startup strategies

    Entrepreneurs are notorious tinkerers who routinely take what other people see as problems and turn them into business opportunities. There’s even a startup methodology called “Lean Startup” devoted to conducting numerous small, measurable experiments to find the minimum viable prescription to drive business success. It’s no surprise then that some entrepreneurs would apply similar hacker’s mentality to their own lives and bodies. There are areas of life where taking an entrepreneurial mindset and making small, calculated changes can result in…

    Holiday PSA: Don’t let CryptoLocker be your family’s Grinch this year

    If you’re reading this, there’s a high probability you’re fairly technologically savvy. And with that comes the likelihood that you’re running an unofficial IT helpdesk for the rest of your family. So with the holiday season officially upon us, consider this a public service announcement and a plea for you to share some tried and true advice with the less sophisticated folks in your life: Don’t open strange email attachments, or click on unknown links or those from unknown senders.…
  • Pollution

    Bitcoin has a dark side: its carbon footprint

    Bitcoin may be making a few people wealthy, but it’s killing us all. The crypto-currency that’s caught the world by storm has a dark side: its carbon footprint. At today’s value of roughly $1,000 per bitcoin, the electricity consumed by the bitcoin mining ecosystem has an estimated carbon footprint – or total greenhouse gas emissions – of 8.25 megatonnes (8,250,000 tonnes) of CO2 per year, according to research by That’s 0.03 percent of the world’s total greenhouse…
  • john_doerr

    John Doerr’s last stand: Can a dramatic shakeup save Kleiner Perkins?

    Jesus Christ, Kleiner Perkins just can’t catch a break. The latest news – in a year-long deluge of mea culpas, nasty lawsuits, and admissions of strategic missteps – is that the firm is retrenching, refocusing on the consumer Web, and cutting its early stage investment staff. We know, thanks to a leaked memo to LPs, who is staying: John Doerr, Ted Schlein, Randy Komisar, Beth Seidenberg, and Mike Abbott. In the weeks since the memo, rumors have swirled about…
  • Smeagol Bitcoin

    The past week teaches us that the bitcoin market won’t scare easily

    Bitcoin is a bubble! Bitcoin is the future! Bitcoin is a bubble, but also the future! With the world scrambling to determine whether to accept the bitcoin religion, the market issued a number of strong signals over the last week that its phenomenon, which seems like as good a characterization as any, isn’t going away without a fight. On November 27th, Bitcoin traded above $1,000 on the Mt. Gox exchange, the first time it crossed that threshold on any US…
  • thanksgiving dinner

    Avoiding the pitfalls of raising money from friends and family

    Ah, the holidays. What better time to make bad decisions regarding the people that love you and know you best: your friends and family. And for an entrepreneur, that all too often means hitting them up for early startup funding. “Friends and family rounds” of funding aren’t inherently bad, but they can be if not handled thoughtfully. Such rounds are typically between $25,000 and $250,000, but this varies on who’s in your personal rolodex and family tree. They have presumably…
  • Tired Thanksgiving

    For entrepreneurs, too often the holidays are anything but happy

    For most people the holidays are about family, escaping work, overindulging on food and drink, and generally checking out. Those with jobs as teachers, bankers, and mechanics put their work lives on hold for a few hours or days. But for entrepreneurs, that’s not possible. Depending on where they are along their entrepreneurial journey, this time of year can be any combination of suffocating, exhausting, or jubilant. For the lucky entrepreneur, who has found some measure of success, the holidays…
  • don_draper

    The rise of “bro social” — Dudes are reluctantly sharing more

    The myth that men don’t share on social media may be changing. Anecdotally, at least, “bro social” is the latest rising tide in social traffic, according to Ricky Van Veen, co-founder of College Humor, Ben Lerer, CEO of Thrillist Media Group, and Allen DeBevoise, CEO (soon-to-be former) of Machinima, who spoke on a panel at the Business Insider Ignition conference today in New York. Social media networks trafficking in content sharing have long been dominated by women. The
  • Tacos

    Tequila and Tacos: How this former Valley exec is poaching US talent for his Mexican startup lab

    It’s easy to get burnt out on the constant hustle of Silicon Valley. For Andy Kieffer, reaching for the pressure release valve after selling his Kleiner Perkins-backed startup in 2008 meant getting out of dodge. Despite having a young family, he didn’t move to Portland, San Diego, or Denver. Instead he packed up his life and moved 1,900 miles south to Guadalajara, Mexico. There he formed an incubator and contract dev shop called Agave Lab, hired some of…
  • stylesaint

    It’s hard to separate StyleSaint from its founder Allison Beal, and that may be its biggest advantage

    The best startups exploit an unfair advantage over their competition. Sometimes it is unique industry knowledge, a hot rolodex, an in with major customers, access to the best investors, first-mover advantage, or some sort of IP protection. In the case of Los Angeles fashion and media startup StyleSaint, that advantage is founder and CEO Allison Beal. Beal is a unique combination of a veteran fashion industry exec, style icon, self-taught technologist, and savvy builder of digital brands. Typically…
  • student loans

    Series A crunched: is living in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” world

    Timing, as they say, is a bitch. When raised its seed round in Q4 2012, the message from investors was prove product market fit and chase scale, worry about monetization later, according to founder Brendon McQueen. But now, with the Series A Crunch in full effect, the climate has changed markedly, so much so, that some of the same investors are telling the young company to make like Jerry McGuire and “show me the money.” And so that’s where…
  • Beach

    “We know we have a good business” — An exclusive interview with BeachMint’s founders

    Here’s the thing about the LA-based subscription commerce company BeachMint: The main reason people frequently characterize it as a “struggling company” is the massive expectations they created when they raised a huge $74 million in equity (plus another $12 million of debt). The valuation was even more ambitious: $200 million. That’s about five and a half times what its competitor ShoeDazzle ended up selling for. Even worse, some $60 million of that is already spent, and BeachMint —…

The Week in Review