Culture

  • Working hard or hardly working? Inside the ultimate man cave at Thrillist

    Every morning Ben Lerer starts his day by walking through a sea of balloons and grabbing a beer from his assistant… apparently. Welcome to the triumphant return of Office Crashers with our inside peak at the ultimate man cave: Thrillist’s New York HQ. In this video, co-founders Lerer and Adam Rich tell us about how their little corner of SoHo went from all OBGYNs to all startups in a matter of a few years. There’s a rug with a dude’s…
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    Twitter’s female “problem” — This is why mobs don’t appoint public company boards

    I can’t believe this debate about whether Twitter is an awful company, simply because everyone on its board has a Y-chromosome, is still going on. Memo to the press: It’s no longer August. It’s not particularly a slow news month. There are so many interesting conversations to be having about Twitter’s impending IPO. Really, a three-day freak out about no women being on the board is one of them? It’s not like there are 40 people on said board. It’s…
  • WeChat

    The new Facebook lives in China

    We’ve said it before, but because we’re just wrapping up a special report about mobile chat, it’s worth saying again. WeChat is, like, the biggest thing ever. China’s leading mobile chat app, a product of Tencent, the country’s largest Internet company and one of the top five in the world by market cap, has achieved virtual ubiquity in the Middle Kingdom, taking up residence on the handsets of the young and old. It enjoys the sort of dominance…
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    What happened, Boston? The original startup hub is in search of its mojo

    It looks like Boston is in a rut. The city that once clearly held the mantle as America’s number two tech town, behind only Silicon Valley, is slipping down the rankings. Gone are the glory days of its enterprise might, when many of tech’s earliest kingpins, from Digital Equipment to Computervision, established themselves on Route 128, which forms a semicircle around the city. Gone are the days when Boston’s venture capitalists could fill their entire portfolios with telecommunications companies and…

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    Spotify again shows how it can act like a giant, powerful magazine

    A couple of weeks ago, I heralded the arrival of Spotify Landmark, a new multimedia feature that tells the stories of historic musical moments, by asking a question: “What if Spotify became the next music magazine?“ The Landmark feature, in this case an audio history of Nirvana’s “In Utero,” might as well have been a magazine feature produced by Rolling Stone, I said. As well as audio clips, it brought together images, video, and text. The package was…
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    AngelList syndicates are changing seed investing, whether VCs like it or not

    AngelList Syndicates are the best thing ever to happen to entrepreneurs and investors! AngelList Syndicates are the worst thing ever to happen to entrepreneurs and investors! Regardless of which of these statements you believe, it’s hard to argue that the new angel capital aggregation platform won’t have an impact on the way startups are funded in the future. And they’ve surely had the industry abuzz for the last seven days. First, a quick rundown of the concept. AngelList…
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    Boundless on PandoWeekly: Taking on textbooks, getting sued, and being a consumer startup in Boston

    Ariel Diaz, the founder and CEO of Boundless, is taking a big lawsuit filed against his company in his stride. Publishers Pearson, Macmillan, and Cengage filed a copyright suit against the “textbook alternatives” startup early in its life. In the year and a half since, however, Boundless, which is backed by $10 million of venture money, has evolved its business and grown all of its core metrics, including number of users, subjects covered, and products, says Diaz.…
  • Miley media critic

    Miley Cyrus: Millennial media critic [Clickbait edition]

    The world has fair reason to hate the song “23,” but based on recent evidence it should at least hear Miley Cyrus out when it comes to her comments on media in the age of Millennials. Rolling Stone today published some outtakes from its recent cover story on Miley, and the tonguey pop princess said some pretty interesting stuff, not only about social drugs like molly and weed, but also about how the media affects public discourse.…
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    Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes says government has a role to play in tech

    Public policy has a role in determining the future of technology and the extent to which tech companies can track us, Facebook co-founder and The New Republic owner Chris Hughes told Sarah Lacy at PandoMonthly in New York on Thursday evening. “This language that we use to talk about big data and technological determinism as the future no matter what drives me crazy,” Hughes said. “The machines don’t control us. The technology and the software do not determine our future.…
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    New-look Causes ditches Facebook app in search of social network for social good

    Six years after it was founded and touted as one of the leading new Facebook apps, campaigns platform Causes is pivoting, repurposing itself as a standalone social network for social good in which people and brands can meet to raise money for things they care about. Causes was once the great hope of the early apps built for the Facebook Platform, which, if you stretch your mind back to 2007, was originally envisaged as an app ecosystem that would serve…
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    Screw virality! Antisocial networks are on the rise

    I’ve compared Mark Zuckerberg to Bill Gates before. It’s both a flattering and unflattering comparison. The parallels aren’t perfect, but both men have built huge and defensible businesses by commanding monopoly-like positions in our digital lives. Microsoft controlled the desktop, and Facebook, like it or not, is the world’s best social graph. It won social the way Google won search. Google+ isn’t pulling an Android-like spoiler. It’s done. But as we all know, just because it’s comprehensive, doesn’t mean…
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    How the LA Dodgers turned a parking lot into Boston’s hottest tech center

    The LA Dodgers might be the best thing that has ever happened to Boston’s startup ecosystem. When Frank McCourt, a Boston real estate developer, bought the beleaguered baseball team from Fox Entertainment in 2004, he inadvertently changed the landscape for Boston tech companies. To muster up the cash to make the purchase, the man that the Boston Globe has described as “volatile, impatient, and brash,” sold 24 acres of parking lots located on Seaport, a boomerang of land jutting…
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    Sequoia launches entrepreneurship content site. (Sound familiar?)

    One of Sequoia Capital’s biggest attributes is its insanely storied history going all the way back to founder Don Valentine’s roots at Fairchild through Atari, Apple, Oracle, Cisco, Yahoo and so many of the companies that made Silicon Valley what it is today. You can understand why the firm has always stubbornly stuck to venture capital classic: Small number of partners, taciturn with the press, reluctant to overpay for valuations, and a sense that an investment from Sequoia meant…
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    Facebook: the Web’s unhappiness scapegoat

    It’s fitting that Facebook features blue iconography and interface design. Interacting with these networks, especially Facebook, is often said to increase a person’s feelings of loneliness, depression, and general unhappiness. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Leuven confirms this hypothesis. The researchers text-messaged 82 Facebook users over the course of two weeks and found that “the more people used Facebook at one time point, the worse they felt the next…
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    Former Facebook editor launches Beacon, a platform that pays journalists

    Former Facebook managing editor Daniel Fletcher and the two founders behind the Backspaces storytelling app have launched the beta version of a platform that aims to help independent journalists get paid for their work. Called Beacon, the new platform lets readers follow their favorite writers, and others who publish on the service, for a monthly fee. Fletcher and cofounders Adrian Sanders and Dmitri Cherniak want Beacon to foster relationships between readers and writers on a one-to-one basis. Writers can promote…

  • Keep Calm

    Calm down, media, before you hurt someone

    This morning at least one shooter opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard killing at least 13 and wounding many others. Then some new outlets engaged in the usual media modus operandi: In the morning frenzy, news teams competed over who could be first to get out any and all information they had to the public. Then the inevitable mistake occurred. NBC and CBS provided reports that identified one of the shooters as a man named Rollie Chance, after…

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