Culture

  • 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…
  • Leap Transit

    Behold Leap Transit: The Uber for city buses is nigh

    If you see Google’s commuter buses as symbols of tech separatism, you’re going to love Leap Transit. Just kidding – you’re going to hate it. Leap Transit, as envisioned by its founders, is a private alternative to public buses. You book, track, and pay for your bus via a smartphone app, enjoy leather seats and wifi on board, and avoid all the occasional discomfort that comes with travelling by public transport, such as crowded carriages, odiferous strangers, and
  • fanny_pack

    Airbnb host left violated after busting fanny pack-clad male prostitutes in her apartment

    A Washington DC woman who caught what very much appears to be two male hookers using her apartment as a base for their “erotic massage” service is reconsidering her use of Airbnb. The woman, who is in her late 20s and asked to be identified by only her first name, Nicole, discovered last night that two men she had rented our her place to via Airbnb turned out to be not as trustworthy as their 17 positive reviews suggested.…
  • scribd

    What does achieving a big milestone get you at Scribd? An equally big office perk.

    Scribd, which one month ago launched a subscription plan to allow users to download an unlimited number of books for $8.99 per month, has hit a big milestone: 1 million books bookmarked by users. To celebrate this latest milestone, the company, founded in 2007, built a gym in its San Francisco office, which it has added to a rock climbing wall, go carts, oh, and a zip line that runs straight into a kid’s swimming pool filled with balls…
  • National Field's founding team, (from left) Saatchi, Wasserman, and Lewis

    Democratic tech platform NGP VAN acquires Obama ’08 spin-out National Field

    Since 2008, the US has seen the emergence of politically oriented tech startups, including Optimizely, Rally, and NationBuilder, which have been helping political candidates across the spectrum fundraise, organize, and optimize their digital efforts. So far, however, the political tech community has remained a world far apart from the mainstream startup world, which has been busily engaged in “disrupting” less red-tapey industries. Politics has remained a boutique industry for tech startups, to put it mildly. Today, that…
  • Tesla fire

    Why Elon Musk is right to fight the media

    On stage at Business Insider’s Ignition conference in New York yesterday, Elon Musk did not seem in high spirits. That was perhaps understandable. Last week, news came of a third fire in a Tesla Model S in a six-week span, sending investors into a panic. Tesla’s stock price dropped immediately, compounding a plunge the previous day precipitated by the company’s revelation of a battery shortage. Given free reign to address the audience for the opening part of his interview with…
  • 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
  • hans-tung_09AAA

    Big-shot Chinese VC: “Tencent will surpass Facebook within 5 years”

    2013 has been an extraordinary year for Chinese Internet companies. In the last 12 months, they have become more international, taken on a bit of a star gloss, and re-found their footing on the US public markets. If you believe one of China’s leading venture capitalists, however, 2013 is just going to be the start of it. New GGV Capital partner Hans Tung says that within the next three to five years, Tencent will overtake Facebook in…

The Week in Review