June 2013

  1. Thieves and scams: the problem with crowdfunding

    Last week I received an anonymous tip about a potential scam on Indiegogo. The device in question, “Micro-Phone,” purports to be a credit card-sized cellular phone that contains a new "locator" technology: "Locating your child, partner, or best friend, anytime, anywhere is now a cinch," brags the text at the top of the page, "thanks to Micro-Phone – a sleek, discrete and affordable GSM mobile phone." The campaign has been extended 30 more days, but is close to tripling its goal of $50,000. Since I recently investigated another crowdfunding scam, I was instantly intrigued.

    By Cale Guthrie Weissman , written on

    From the News desk

  2. Why the "Steve Jobs of China" is crucial to the country's innovative future (Book excerpt)

    What follows is an excerpt from my new ebook "Beta China: The Dawn of an Innovation Generation," which is the result of a reporting trip to China last year. The book is now on sale via Amazon and Apple for the princely sum of $1.99.

    By Hamish McKenzie , written on

    From the News desk

  3. How to brand a consumer hardware startup

    Branding a world-class consumer hardware company is dramatically different than for consumer software, Web, or mobile companies. Branding begins with storytelling, and crafting compelling stories for hardware requires a fresh perspective.

    By Rob Coneybeer , written on

    From the News desk

  4. Confused by China? Download Hamish McKenzie's new eBook right this second

    When I hired Hamish McKenzie last year he told me he already had plans to spend the summer in China. "Maybe you could write an ebook about your experience," I suggested.

    By Sarah Lacy , written on

    From the News desk

  5. Calling all wallflowers: Potluck combines public sharing and "dark social" to encourage conversation

    Potluck, the new social service from Branch Media, isn't about sharing links. Providing a place for users to collect, share, and discuss the Web's miscellanies is merely the vehicle through which Potluck's true purpose -- convincing the social media era's wallflowers to join the never-ending, global conversation -- can be achieved.

    By Nathaniel Mott , written on

    From the News desk

  6. Meet Sleepbot, the fast-growing sleep tracking app with a over a million users

    Sleepbot started out as a joke. Jane Zhu and her friends built an Android app in college as a way to share how little they'd slept during exam week with each other. It was just a side project that they didn't expect to go anywhere.

    By Erin Griffith , written on

    From the News desk

  7. How to get Sir Richard Branson's undivided attention

    I can’t tell you how many times entrepreneurs have asked me to introduce them to Sir Richard Branson, who I've interviewed a number of times. “Learn to kiteboard," I tell them, "and I’m certain you’ll run across him on the water at some point.” Oh, and there’s one other piece of advice I can offer: Know venture capitalist Bill Tai and professional kitboarder Susi Mai. They are the creators of the annual MaiTai (Get it: Susi MAI and Bill TAI?) Maui gathering, which includes 150 of their closest friends in the tech community who meet each year to collaborate on their startups and play extreme sports.

    By Kym McNicholas , written on

    From the News desk

  8. Listen to our PandoWeekly interview with Atavist's Evan Ratliff

    On the second-ever episode of PandoWeekly today, I talked to Evan Ratliff, founder of Brooklyn-based digital publishing startup Atavist and an experienced journalist who has written for Wired and The New Yorker, among others.

    By Hamish McKenzie , written on

    From the News desk

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