News & Analysis

  1. apple-uh-oh

    Can Apple win the streaming music wars or is it already too late?

    In the early 2000s, when Napster and other digital piracy sites began to eat away at the profits of an exceedingly bloated music industry, Steve Jobs knew immediately what Apple had to do. In a Rolling Stone article celebrating iTunes 10th anniversary, Steve Knopper perfectly captures Jobs’ bold plan : “Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder and chief executive, saw Napster, MP3s and the Internet a different way. By late 2002, he believed music fans clearly wanted to download songs they liked…
  3. Football Fan

    Score! with Friends is about to become the favorite app of sports fans everywhere

    The proliferation of mobile, and by that I mean smartphones and wireless broadband, has changed how we communicate. No longer are our calls tethered to a home or office phone, no longer are our emails and chats relegated to our PC, home or office. Thus, perhaps the biggest impact of mobile has been the rise of immediacy, the ability to communicate whatever you want, whenever you want, to whomever you want. The rise of mobile messaging clients like Snapchat, WeChat,…
  4. secret

    Startups Anonymous: Founders confess their deepest secrets

    [This is a weekly series that brings you raw, first-hand experiences from founders and investors in the trenches. Their story submissions are anonymous, allowing them to share openly without fear of retribution. Every Wednesday, we’ll run one new story chosen by Dana Severson, who operates StartupsAnonymous, a place for startups to share, ask questions, and  answer them in story-length posts, all anonymously. You can share your own story here.] If you were to ask, you’d…
  5. twitter-tv

    Baltimore policeman refuses to disclose how the department gathers cell phone records

    Baltimore prosecutors chose on Monday to withdraw evidence from an ongoing trial instead of revealing how the city’s police department monitored a defendant’s cell phone records. This means that a .45-caliber handgun and a cell phone will no longer be used as evidence in the trial, which is expected to continue despite this large set-back, according to the Baltimore Sun. The case involves two young men accused of robbing a pizza deliveryman at gunpoint. One is said to have confessed to the…
  7. uber

    Fred Wilson on Uber: “Values and culture matter”

    “If the Uber mess over the past few days tells us anything, it is that values and culture matter more than anything. They seep into the product, the user experience, the brand, and ultimately define the company in the market. And all of this comes from the top.” ~Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson
  8. Casper Canada Box

    Mattress startup Casper heads to Canada, promises an blissful night’s sleep to our neighbors up north

    A good night’s sleep is one of the most universal of all needs. Given this, it’s little surprise that Casper, the popular New York-based mattress startup, has seen demand from around the world. But as an upstart with limited funding and rabid domestic demand to satisfy, crossing borders (and oceans) has largely been out of the question at this early stage. Today that changes. Casper has launched in Canada, and remarkably, will offer the same two-day delivery and same price…
  9. uber

    Uber investor Ashton Kutcher thinks it’s totally fine to smear journalists

    According to a series of tweets, Ashton Kutcher, an investor in Uber through A-Grade Investments, sees no problem with executive Emil Michael’s proposed plan to smear journalists — and specifically our editor-in-chief Sarah Lacy — who are critical of the company. [Source: Ashton Kutcher on Twitter]
  11. Bellhops

    On-demand mover Bellhops snags $6.5M in Series A fuel to keep the good times rolling

    We live in an on-demand world. Technology is putting ever more functionality and real-world services into the palms of our hands, thanks to the proliferation of always connected, location aware, mobile devices. Another major trend shaking up the way we access services is the peer-to-peer (or sharing) economy, in which consumers offer their time, labor, and goods directly to one another, often with the only intermediary being a digital booking platform. Sitting right at the intersection of these two trends is
  12. vintage tow truck

    Forget AAA. Honk is a nationwide on-demand towing platform fueled by technology

    There’s nothing enjoyable about needing a tow truck. From the frustration of waiting forever for it to arrive to the unshakable knowledge that you’re about to be gouged for a simple service, it’s a situation most drivers would gladly avoid. And like most industries, the experience of ordering a tow truck hasn’t changed in decades. Honk is a Santa Monica startup working to modernize roadside assistance via an on-demand mobile platform that puts tow trucks at the touch of…
  13. isis-gaza

    Fear-mongers invoke the Islamic State to block NSA reform

    Senate Republicans have successfully used the specter of the so-called Islamic State to block the USA Freedom Act, which would have curtailed government surveillance and allowed companies to be more honest with consumers about data requests, nixing any hope of reform this session. The USA Freedom Act was a last-ditch effort to push surveillance reform through before Republicans, who are widely expected to side with intelligence agencies instead of with American citizens and private businesses, take control of Congress with the…
  15. uber

    Toronto moves to suspend Uber operations

    Toronto has asked the courts to stop Uber from operating within the city because of “concerns about Uber’s operations including a lack of driver training and vehicle inspections, inadequate insurance and increased traffic from the additional cars on the road,” Bloomberg reports. Uber has been operating in Toronto without a license since 2012. [Source: Bloomberg]
  16. Overheard

    “I wasted — you’re the first to know this — 10,000 fucking pounds [about $15,600] in the last two years on apps on my iPad. I got into Game of Thrones, Game of War, Real Racing, and I just wanted to up the ante. And like an idiot I didn’t check myself. I’ve been checked now. But there’s a kid in me, see? A bit of my childhood was taken from me and I’m determined to bring it back.”

    — Sex Pistols singer John Lydon proving punk rock is dead

  17. elsewhere

    Jolla crowdfunds its first tablet

    Jolla, the Finland-based tech company created by ex-Nokia staffers, has raised $473,000 (and counting) from Indiegogo users to create its first tablet. The device will feature Jolla’s Sailfish OS, a mobile platform that competes with Android, Windows Phone, and iOS. [Source: Jolla]
  19. uber

    Uber investigating its top NYC exec for using company data to track a reporter

    The run of bad behavior by top Uber executives continues with reports tonight via BuzzFeed News that the company is investigating its New York GM Josh Mohrer for violating the company’s data policies in tracking a BuzzFeed News reporter. This is not the first time Uber has been accused of misusing so-called “God Mode,” including one incident involving Venture capitalist Peter Sims. [Source: BuzzFeed]
  20. food-snowball

    Chefler is shut down, but its cofounder keeps the faith with a new food startup, Stackd

    As a New Yorker I’m probably biased, but I never really “got” food startups. To me, they seemed like little more than venture-funded restaurants with the gall to try and master technology alongside cuisine. But when Seamless/Grubhub already offer powerful delivery engines that allow restaurants to focus on cooking food not writing code, why cross the streams? Of course, $200 million in investor money in just three months says I’m wrong. In the first quarter of 2014, funding for “meal, grocery, and…
  21. Crazy Uber

    Amid escalating scandal, Uber publishes new data privacy statement

    The scandal over Uber’s threats to target the personal lives of journalists continues to grow. Following Buzzfeed’s initial report that a senior Uber exec had described a $1m campaign to smear and discredit Pando’s Sarah Lacy, more journalists have spoken out about threats by the company. San Francisco Magazine Senior Editor Ellen Cushing revealed earlier today that sources had warned her that Uber execs might try to use her rider account data to attack her. That thread is…

The Week in Review