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  • Life on Bitcoin

    “Life on Bitcoin”: These newlyweds plan to live for 90 days entirely on bitcoin, and film the whole thing

    Bitcoin has received heaps of attention recently from tech early adopters and the mainstream media alike. It’s been a wild last six months which has seen the value of the virtual currency grow more than tenfold and then fall half as much, as well as the government intervene in a series of suspected fraud and money-laundering cases. The cryptocurrency has...
  • Elon Musk SpaceX Rocket

    Debunking the myth that LA doesn’t build hardcore technology

    The last few years have been good to the Los Angeles tech scene, with more money, more talent, and more recognition coming to the community. Many outside observers have sought to handicap the market and its place in the broader startup ecosystem. I’ve had dozens upon dozens of conversations along these lines, with most visiting investors and entrepreneurs alike asking...
  • me_undies

    For MeUndies, advertising alongside porn is just smart business

    There are some rules that seem to be etched in stone. For example, porn sites are off limits for VCs and brand advertisers – or so the prevailing wisdom goes. Despite the potential for substantial return on investment, few have been willing to cross that ethical and moral line. Recently, however, one startup chose to break this unwritten rule in...
  • zorro

    For the bitcoin economy to grow, anonymity needs to die

    Yesterday was a seminal day in the maturation of the bitcoin ecosystem, as the world’s largest exchange, Mt. Gox, announced it would now require user verification – via approved photo identification – for all accounts seeking to deposit or withdraw fiat currencies (aka, government-backed currency). This is a direct response to two recent government actions against virtual currency operators accused of...
  • Mount-Rushmore

    John Doerr on the great entrepreneurs of the last half-century

    In his nearly 40 years in Silicon Valley, John Doerr has worked alongside many of the greatest entrepreneurs and leaders in history. The first: Former Intel CEO Andy Grove, with whom Doerr worked closely in roles ranging from intern to a leading sales person at the microchip company. Over the next four decades Doerr invested in, mentored, sat on boards...
  • Kids Computer Programming

    Pluralsight turns philanthropic, launches free coding bootcamp in Utah public schools

    Later today, hundreds of kids at six elementary, middle, and high schools in Utah will take a break from their normal classes and get three-hour crash course on coding. The praise-worthy experiment is part of an ongoing philanthropic effort by technology online education company Pluralsight aimed at giving kids early access to the worlds of Web and software development....
  • Who says education can’t be lucrative? The early days of Lynda.com

    We certainly couldn’t spend a month focusing on online education and not include Lynda.com. The 17-year-old company grabbed the Valley’s attention when it raised a whopping $103 million series A deal lead by Accel Partners in January– a hefty series A by any standards and the most ever raised in a single round by an edtech company, according to...
  • Good Intentions

    For university accelerators, good intentions aren’t good enough

    Today’s announcement of a new university accelerator program at the University of Southern California (USC) should have elicited celebration. The appropriate feel good PR boxes were checked with the inclusion of tier one VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KCPB) and Hollywood mega-agency United Talent Agency (UTA), each announced as partners. But underneath the delicious frosting, this cake is the...
  • liquor-1221-1280x960

    The Valentine’s Day drinking game: Tech edition

    I’ve never been the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day. I don’t love chocolate, I don’t get flowers, and frankly, I think that if you can only muster the effort to romance your significant other on the day some guy died you might want to rethink your priorities. (It’s mostly about the chocolate.) Lately there’s been something else bothering me about...
  • series_a_survivor

    Seed investors are getting creative to survive the Series A crunch

    There’s been plenty of talk about the Series A crunch and how it affects Seed stage companies looking to raise follow-on funding in 2013. Less talked about is how it affects companies trying to get out of the gates and raise their initial Seed round, as well as those investors considering backing them. To get an idea of how the...
  • duel

    Deja vu: BeachMint loses two more C-level executives

    BeachMint has lost more c-level executives in the last month, confirms COO Greg Steiner. The first to go in this latest shakeup was CTO Carl Trudel, who left shortly before the winter holiday season. CFO Jordan Posell will also be leaving, the company announced internally this week, but not until a replacement is identified. Trudel will not be replaced,...
  • Jody and Kerri Sherman

    The startup community mourns the loss of ecomom founder Jody Sherman

    It is with a heavy heart that I must report that ecomom founder and CEO Jody Sherman has passed away. Details are scarce at this time. The only information available comes via a Facebook post left on Jody’s profile by his wife. Sherman was a beloved member of the Los Angeles and Las Vegas startup communities and will be sorely…

  • Crazy Fox

    Best Buy is crazy, just not like a fox

    The suits at Best Buy are at it again. In the latest installment of “crazy like a fox, or just plain crazy,” the electronics retailer has decided to discount the MacBook Air by an absurd $200 for the next two days. Why is this so ridiculous? Let me count the ways. First, the company has seen an alarming drop...
  • Gold Star

    Amplify’s LA Showcase is exactly what this town needs

    We all go to events put on by well meaning accelerators pimping their best startups. But earlier this week at something called the LA Showcase, Amplify did something different. The private event was an afternoon of speed-dating between startups and investors – many of which flew in from the Bay Area specifically for the day – hosted by the accelerator, LA-based...
  • Pushpins

    The full story of Pushpins acquisition by Ebates parent Performance Marketing Brands

    It was reported over the weekend that Lightspeed-backed mobile grocery shopping startup Pushpins was acquired by Ebates parent company Performance Marketing Brands (PMB). But there’s far more than initially meets the eye in this deal that closed shortly before the Christmas holiday. [Disclosure: PandoDaily Chairman Andrew Anker is also Chairman of PMB] First and foremost, Pushpins is more than...
  • Swan

    The VC’s paradox: We can’t all be black swans

    In the past 30 days I’ve had sad and unfortunate conversations with around five entrepreneurs about the reality that their venture funded companies are headed toward their eventual end. Some are indignant. Some are accepting. Others are openly sad. All of them have lost the passion that they once carried in their voices that I had admired just a few...

The Week in Review

Yesterday

type-a-machines For Type A Machines, there’s no guessing where the 3D printing fun ride ends Zoosk files for IPO, hopes public market will fall in love with it An Israeli company delivers Lebanese citizens from the clutches of its own government Startups Anonymous: The most expensive lesson I learned was to start a startup in Europe Canadian man is the first arrested for Heartbleed-related hacking Whistle has made a Fitbit for dogs and doesn’t care if you think that’s silly Undeterred by its ban from Belgium, Uber expands in stealth to Finland “Google Buses Pay $1 per stop, but it costs me $2 to ride MUNI”: Logical fallacy explained Can Glassholes find safety in numbers? For Zynga, a modest rebound would count as a win Frontback almost never happened. Now it’s got 1M downloads, 75% monthly growth, and an Android app Nail meet coffin: Mt. Gox asks to be liquidated REVEALED: Gov. Christie’s investment chief has major financial ties to firm that got $300M in NJ pension cash Former Sequoia and Accel VCs launch Tracxn, a Bloomberg-like database for the startup world Artist image site OpenAura partners with Getty, AP, and others: Why this is a big win for musicians LevelUp exploits smart bundling to drop credit card interchange fees to 1.95%, saving merchants boatloads Livefyre launches Sidenotes annotations that turn any website into RapGenius Grubwithus becomes Superb, a platform for discovering new places and which friends to share them with As Healbe’s $1.1m Indiegogo scampaign closes, what now for fraudulent crowdfunding?