Culture

  • Screwpulp Braintree PitchHop

    Startups drop rhymes for cash in Braintree PitchHop competition

    In the midst of a Southland conference that was equal parts culture and music festival as it was hard hitting technology summit, perhaps it’s no surprise that Braintree would take an atypical approach to onboarding new users. What was that approach? Asking entrepreneurs to Rap their startup pitch in a makeshift bus turned recording studio. The judges? Braintree CEO (and potential future PayPal president) Bill Ready and developer relations head John Lunn. The Braintree PitchHop competition started slow…
  • scott-mcnealy

    Tech billionaire to caddy for his teen son at the US Open

    The richest man working inside the ropes at this week’s US Open golf championship won’t be Tiger Woods (he’s injured) or Phil Mickelson (despite his alleged ill-gotten, insider trading gains). No, that distinction will go to tech billionaire, Sun Microsystems co-founder and former CEO Scott McNealy. McNealy won’t be hitting any shots himself, despite being a respectable golfer in his own right as a former member of the Harvard golf team. Rather, the 59-year-old will be carrying the…
  • Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 10.06.39 AM

    Live music at Southland: Moon Taxi, The Weeks, LEAGUES and Cooper & the Jam and more

    Not only is our Southland conference taking place in Music City but it also falls right smack in between CMAFest and Bonnaroo – two of the country’s biggest music festivals. In addition to a stellar speaker lineup, Southland attendees  are going to see some of the Southeast’s hottest new bands. We’ve already announced our Tuesday night lineup of St. Paul & the Broken Bones with J. Roddy Walston & the Business. Now we’re ready to share more details of Monday…
  • Chicago Tech week

    Industry leaders attack Chicago Tech Week over ludicrously sexist ads

    As the unofficial capital of the midwest, Chicago considered by many to be a kindler, gentler version of its coastal counterparts, New York and Los Angeles. This overall friendly attitude and fondness for work-life balance attitude is often cited when tech industry observers ask why an ecosystem is not more highly regarded by coastal investors and entrepreneurs, despite producing successes such as Orbitz, Groupon, GrubHub, and Braintree. Well it seems someone forgot to tell the organizers of Tech Week…
  • mike-maples-17

    Mike Maples on why so many female founders pitch Floodgate

    When the Midas List came out this year, only four percent of the top VCs recognized were women. According to the National Venture Capital Association, the number of female VCs has declined from fourteen percent in 2008 to eleven percent in 2011. And yet, at a time when women’s role in venture seems to be ever dwindling, Floodgate is a firm with not one, but two female partners, a full two thirds of its senior investment team. Mike…
  • Third Man Records

    What founders can learn from Jack White about launching a product

    Like most entrepreneurs and technophiles, I love checking out new companies and products. But I am having a real problem with what has become the status quo “intro video,” with its obligatory animations, cutesy music, and a description that seems targeted for my 5-year old. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dumb Ways to Die, Yo Gabba Gabba, and pretty much most of the stuff my son likes during his “screen time.” I just don’t want to every new product I try going…
  • depression

    Startups Anonymous: What Startup Failure Feels Like

    It was the morning after our failed launch, I had just dropped off my kid at preschool as a rush of emotion hit me like a sledgehammer to the nuts. At that moment, I thought it was because of my 4-year old’s struggle to leave my side, which never failed to draw a tear. As I bawled my way to the car, I quickly realized it was much greater this time.

  • obama-quora-qa

    Today Obama took on Quora. Now Quora needs to take on revenue

    In case you couldn’t tell by now, the White House really really wants you to sign up for the Affordable Care Act. And POTUS himself is all over pop media shilling for it every chance he gets. Why not? As any founder will tell you, the top man is always the best spokesperson for something new, buggy, or controversial. (Or in this case, all of the above.) First he did “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis.” Then he did ESPN. Then
  • 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…
  • trainer mocktails

    Drink up! Here’s a new way to share your story

    Everyone I know in media is buried in press releases. We receive hundreds of them by email each day despite all the articles and blog posts that claim, “The Press Release Is Dead.” Not to say we don’t want to know what’s new. It’s just that it’s tough to sift through all of them. So, when an account executive at a PR agency sends a personal note offering a very different approach to sharing their clients’ stories, it gave me a…
  • privacy-flickr

    Anti-surveillance petition out-does the Death Star. White House must now respond

    A couple of days ago, it looked like Mark Stanley’s “We The People” petition asking for reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act would fall well short of the 100,000 signatures needed to trigger a White House response. Despite a bipartisan “Day of Action” last week led by the Center for Democracy and Technology, where Stanley is campaign and communications strategist, the petition had only 60,000 signatures on it with just a couple of days remaining. That total would…
  • 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…
  • SpaceX Snapchat

    Snapchat vs. SpaceX: Which gets more attention?

    On the one hand, we have Snapchat, an immensely viral app that lets people send disappearing messages to each other. It has been in the news recently for turning down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook, for having no clear revenue model, and for an increasingly ugly dispute between its frat-brother founders. On the other hand, we have SpaceX, an 11-year-old company that makes and launches rockets.

  • 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…
  • Platform1

    BuzzFeed continues to belly flop off its “open platform”

    First, a quick story. A woman writes a list called “The Ultimate Unique Gift Guide For Guys.” She publishes it on BuzzFeed, using the publication’s Community platform and tools. The first item in the gift guide is a homemade gin kit, which happens to be a product made by a business the woman runs with her husband. The post gets 2,000 views. Then the woman sends an email to BuzzFeed asking why it didn’t do more to promote…

The Week in Review