Culture

  • Grove screenshot

    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…
  • Aeon Magazine

    Is Aeon Magazine the best magazine on the Internet?

    If “slow media” needs a poster child, it can find one in Aeon Magazine, an online publication about culture and ideas that marks its first birthday tomorrow. In the space of a year, the magazine, started by a London-based Australian couple who have no background in media, has established itself as a first-rate example of a modern-day magazine, free from the constraints of legacy press and proudly aloof from the pageview-chasing linkbaitery of the Web 2.0 era. It publishes top…

  • Carlson was forced to make his own bed.

    “There were a lot of mattress stores” — Business Insider’s inside look at Airbnb

    I went to San Francisco last week for a conference and to meet with sources. Usually when I go to SF, I stay at the Courtyard downtown. The location is great, plus the rooms are nice. A good breakfast is included. There’s a gym. There’s even a pool. So I was about to book a room, but then I saw the price. It was over $500 per night! Ack! I decided to try my luck with Airbnb, a site where…

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    Article One Partners brings the crowd to a patent fight

    Perhaps the most compelling tips from our step-by-step guide to slaughtering patent trolls are to “do your research” and to “team up with other companies fighting the same troll.” Not because they’re new ideas, but because the same tactics have been employed in global conflicts and schoolyard squabbles for years. Article One Partners (AOP) was founded based on both principles. The patent research company tasks some 27,000 independent researchers with scouring the US Patent and Trademark Office…
  • BuzzFeed Community

    BuzzFeed’s new community rules fix nothing

    Three weeks ago, an anti-abortion group called PersonhoodUSA published anti-Planned Parenthood propaganda piece on BuzzFeed’s “community” platform. BuzzFeed copped a lot of flak for doing so, and I criticized the company, saying it had to choose between being a platform and a publication. Today, BuzzFeed issued new community guidelines, intended to make clear its policy around its “open platform,” to which any entity can post. The new rules are vague and won’t do anything to prevent future Personhood USA-type cases…

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    “Can you help?”: Media startups find models for journalism without ads

    On September 5, NSFWCorp founder and editor-in-chief Paul Carr sent an email to the publication’s subscribers. The subject line was just three words, but it communicated a message greater than just the contents of the email: “Can you help?” In the missive, Carr shed the chirpily optimistic tone he usually assumes when speaking about his Las Vegas-based startup, which publishes a paywalled publication that bills itself, tongue in cheek, as “the future of journalism (with jokes).”

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    What to expect when Apple’s expecting

    So you’ve decided that you’re interested in whatever Apple has to announce on Tuesday. Now you’re probably wondering how you should prepare for this consumeristic clusterfuck and what to expect in the hours and days following the announcement. That’s okay. We’ll do this together. The day before the event. Congratulations, you’re expecting an Apple announcement to come any day now! Here’s what’s most likely to happen in this stage of development: Last-minute reports and leaks. Apple employees and other “sources…
  • GA Washington DC

    General Assembly arrives in Washington DC, partners with 1776

    A couple of years ago, entrepreneurial educational institution General Assembly scouted Washington DC and decided there wasn’t enough startup activity to warrant starting a program in the city just yet. This year, now that incubator-cum-startup community 1776 has established itself in the heart of the nation’s capital and consolidated much of the city’s startup activity within its campus, General Assembly has had a change of heart. Today, it is announcing a parternship with 1776 to bring full-time immersive programs, long-form…

  • So, Laura Sydell, what do you really think of Nathan Myhrvold?

    Much of the summer we’ve been digging into the current situation with patents — and proposed changes to make it worse for trolls and more fair to real innovators. But the news organization that did the best job at translating this wonky topic into something a general audience could understand — and be outraged by — was NPR’s “This American Life.” “When Patents Attack!” parts one and two are some of the best reporting on this…
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    Let’s start a fight on the Internet

    Let’s start a fight on the Internet. It will be fun. We shall feel that rush of adrenaline that comes only with real and intense conflict. We shall dispense cutting wisdom with withering wit. The crowds will look on in wonder, jaws slack, typing fingers rendered immobile. We shall spar; we shall joust; we shall fight with the righteousness of those who possess accounts of social media.

  • PandoMonthly New York with Warby Parker CEO Neil Blumenthal, the full interview

    Hipsters, raise your glasses: The full PandoMonthly interview with Warby Parker CEO and co-founder Neil Blumenthal is available for streaming below. Blumenthal took the stage in New York to discuss the journey that took him from making fake IDs to making unpretentious — or so he says — glasses, why the Web-savvy Warby Parker needs old-school retail stores, and why Warby Parker isn’t really a technology startup after all. Our next PandoMonthly event will be…
  • politico-startupAAA

    Watch out, startup communities: The Congressmen are coming

    The worlds of Silicon Valley and Capitol Hill are still separated by more than just thousands of miles. The two cultures – one predicated on agility and risk, the other on process and consultation – occupy opposite ends of the ideological spectrum when it comes to Getting Things Done. The tech industry and startup world are only just waking up to the need to maintain an ongoing dialogue with Congress, while the political class is starting to realize that innovation…

  • DecisionCubeAAA

    BuzzFeed has a Medium problem

    BuzzFeed ought to thank Personhood USA. The anti-abortion group has exposed a serious flaw in the upstart publication’s system. With a BuzzFeedalicious listicle detailing the reasons why Planned Parenthood is the work of promiscuous, condomless Satan, Personhood has provided yet another sterling example of why platforms and publications don’t mix. The “8 Outrageous Things Planned Parenthood Was Caught Doing” article appeared in BuzzFeed’s “Community” section on Friday. (I’m not linking to it, because I consider it a detestable piece of…

The Week in Review