May 2013

  1. Edtech startups have great products. Their sales? Not so great

    If you thought monetizing social media apps was difficult, you have not witnessed the bizarrely impossible act of selling education technology into schools. It is, from what I can tell from a startup's perspective, a bitch.

    By Erin Griffith , written on

    From the News desk

  2. Three and a half reasons to stop calling yourself a social entrepreneur

    Last October I wrote an article for GOOD titled, “Why Social Ventures Are More Popular Than Ever,” summarizing six key trends driving continued growth. During my research for this piece, I became more than mildly obsessed with finding data to confirm my thesis -- that there has, indeed, been an increase in the number of social ventures and/or social entrepreneurs over the last several years.

    By Sarah McKinney , written on

    From the News desk

  3. Making sense of opinions: Celeb-backed State takes a stab at the modern forum

    New opinion network State has $14 million in funding and an all-star lineup of founders and advisors that includes Worldwide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, new age doctor and author Deepak Chopra, Lady Gaga’s manager Troy Carter, and the team behind Jawbone, maker of bluetooth headsets. That’s a lot of celebrity mindpower and capital being poured into what is essentially a digital platform for saying whether or not something sucks. The idea behind State, says co-founder and chairman Alexander Asseily, is to democratize online discussion. Truly, this time. While Twitter has given everyone a voice, says Asseily, in most cases those voices are ignored, lost in the great wash of noise that is the kaleidoscopic clusterfuck of millions driblets of inania being broadcast simultaneously. Or, are Asseily puts it: “Twitter hasn’t invested as much as it wanted to in the idea that everyone’s voice should be counted.” So, where Twitter lists and hashtags have failed, Asseily hopes that State can prevail. Here is a platform, he proffers, where everyone’s voice counts, regardless of who they are or what they’ve done. This is usually the point in a post where a writer will say, “The way XXX works is simple.” But you can’t quite say that about State. It takes a bit of getting used to. After signing on, you’re invited to weigh in on topics that matter to you. You can find them by searching, or by clicking on one of the sections, such as “Entertainment,” “Politics & Government,” or “Tech.” The top half of the webpage is given over to grid view of hot topics (“Timeless albums,” for example) and trending discussions (“Google Glass”). The bottom half of the page shows discussion threads, sorted by “Latest” or “Most Interesting.” To have your say, you click into one of these discussions and add a comment, or simply click on “Agree” or “Disagree.” With each action, you’re prompted by a list of potential adjective tags to add to your thoughts. The adjectives on offer include “overstated,” “powerful,” “inspiring,” and so on.

    By Hamish McKenzie , written on

    From the News desk

  4. How Stanford-affiliated StartX began to embrace medical startups

    StartX, an incubator spun out of Stanford in 2010, held its ninth Demo Day last night in Palo Alto. The accelerator is for students who have attended the university, and is a bit different from most, being a nonprofit that takes no equity from member companies. In the past, it has graduated startups like the social network Knotch, and Loki Studios, which was recently bought by Yahoo in Marissa Mayer’s acquisition spree.

    By Richard Nieva , written on

    From the News desk

  5. Welcome to LA: Your video guide to Los Angeles startup culture

    [Video produced by Kym McNicholas and Michael Carney, filmed by Billy Ferguson, edited/scored by David Holmes]

    By David Holmes , written on

    From the News desk

  6. By David Holmes , written on

    From the News desk

  7. How much does your college degree matter?

    With unemployment for young people still at elevated levels, and so many career paths basically obsolete, the “college debate” is in full force.

    By Bryan Goldberg , written on

    From the News desk

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