Area Intern Confounded by Lack of Coffee Runs

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Area Intern Confounded by Lack of Coffee Runs

When I chose Riparian Data, I had no idea what I was getting into. I showed up to my first day excited to organize filing cabinets and get print outs. I can get a mean cup of coffee or drop something off at the post office in under 2 minutes. Much to my dismay, there were no filing cabinets, and developers got their own coffee. I didn’t even realize we had a printer for the first four weeks. 

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The Startup and the Coattail Trap

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The Startup and the Coattail Trap

 Recently, I joined a swim team. The pool where we practice has five lanes, and the speed of the swimmers goes up with the numbers. I swim in lane four, but sometimes, if I position myself just right, I am able to mimic, in shape and cadence, the arm strokes of whomever is swimming adjacent to me, in lane five. If I am vigilant, I can keep up;  for a moment, I can feel what it is to be fast.

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How You Like Dem Hats? Product Management in a Small Startup

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How You Like Dem Hats? Product Management in a Small Startup

 I’ve worked at a lot of different companies, some startups, some not.  It’s been awhile since I worked at a company small and young enough for me to interact with the CEO everyday--of these, Riparian Data is the smallest company I’ve ever worked for.  It's awesome and exactly what I hoped for, but it's definitely unique.  

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Diary of a Programming Intern, Part 1: Who's on First?

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Diary of a Programming Intern, Part 1: Who's on First?

 When I was a young-un (er, four years ago), summer internships meant 1) nurturing a growing outfit inferiority complex, 2) trying to wrangle interviews from clubbers on my flip cam, and 3) waitressing on the weekends so I could afford to continue no's 1-2. 

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The Name Game or Ockham Was Right

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The Name Game or Ockham Was Right

I experienced that fifth draft feeling again last week. A month ago, it had been decided that our app would be getting a new name to match its new platform (iOS) and audience (enterprises using Exchange).

Initially, I’d balked at this decision. I’d liked the old name, Gander. (I’m a sucker for homographs, I guess.)

I warmed up to it pretty quickly, though. Partially because it made a lot of sense from a morale and identity standpoint, and partially because, well, coming up with new names is fun!

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Authenticity™, or What Happens When Ads Go Fully Native

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Authenticity™, or What Happens When Ads Go Fully Native

I am coming off four days at Internet Week, where I have learned that product companies are becoming content companies and Authenticity™ is the new Old Spice Man. In other words, what we have is the convergence, on one side, of marketing and editorial, and on the other, of editorial and advertising. Let’s start with the first side.

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Best of Internet Week, Part 2: Bring Up the Silos

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Best of Internet Week, Part 2: Bring Up the Silos

Much has already been said of the Obama for America Tech Team, but it's best to hear it from the (Trojan?) horses' mouths. Harper Reed was the CTO of Obama for America Tech Team, celebrated for both his considerable engineering chops and his punk woodsman ethos. Michael Slaby, the Chief Innovation & Integration Officer, was perhaps less celebrated, but he managed to  get the bleedin' edge tech team to work productively with the traditional campaign team. Couldn't have been easy, and by all accounts he did a stellar job. 

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Best of Internet Week, Part 1: Google's Tara Levy Demystifies Engagement

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Best of Internet Week, Part 1: Google's Tara Levy Demystifies Engagement

Oof, you guys. We're currently on day 2 of Internet Week, and I'm being forced to choose between a rock and a hot place, aka 82°F (outside) and 37°F (inside). This is my second Internet Week, and like its predecessor, this one is stuffed to its garbardine gills with marketing/ecommerce/advertising panels led by the natty doyennes of NYC tech. As one man in the registration line said to another, "that's a fantastic bow tie."

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Truth in Tech E17: The New, New, New Journalism

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Truth in Tech E17: The New, New, New Journalism

 Flying robot reporters, the Department of Justice's AP phone records subpoena, Bloomberg snoops...suffice it to say that the right to know and the right to keep private are butting heads. We dive in to the future of privacy in the fourth estate. 

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Let's Banish the General Specific

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Let's Banish the General Specific

On the surface, the success of boilerplate posts is somewhat counterintuitive. These posts are longer than the average TechCrunch “article,” have like, one picture, never of a baby sloth, and don’t fit all the ensuing bullet points within the title. These posts aren’t breaking or exclusive—they’re what content marketing folks like to call “evergreen.” Evergreen, as in come over anytime! Evergreen, as in Steve Tyler’s lips! Evergreen, as in that cardboard tree you hang from your rearview mirror.

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Truth in Tech E16: The (Fund) Me Generation

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Truth in Tech E16: The (Fund) Me Generation

 Help a Croatian poet survive as a Tisch student in NYC. Apparently the scholarship the school offered was not enough, and NYC is shockingly expensive. Give him $100 and he'll mention you in his thesis, give him $200 and he'll give you a personalized poetry night.

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Truth in Tech E15: The Path Less Taken

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Your plumber called. He wants to know about those photos you have to shareThe capped social network beloved by designers and San Francisco technorati alike has come under a second round of fire for its spammy adoption practices. On Monday Stephen Kenwright downloaded Path, and then quickly deleted it without adding connections or uploading photos. On Tuesday, starting at 6:30 AM, Kenwright began receiving calls and texts from his friends, family, coworkers, and his plumber, all inquiring about the photos Path had told them he wanted to share with them.

Boston: Placesetter, a cambridge-based startup for realtors, raised $2.5million in funding. Placesetter is a real estate marketing platform to help professional realtors build their own websites. The funding was raised from a Boston seed fund, Romulus Capital, and angel investors.

New York: Rap Genius takes on the news. The spitballing Yalies behind Rap Genius are applying some of their a16z racks to a new vertical called News Genius. Since news stories these days are, like, so hard to parse, the Genii will do it for you. Right now, News Genius is in soft launch, but you can see some of the annotated stories, e.g. the FBI's Jean Seberg Memo, via its twitter feed.


IPO or M&A for Twitter? Reuters reports that Twitter has hired Cynthia Gaylor, a well-known IPO and M&A lawyer who previously worked for Morgan Stanley. Gaylor will run Twitter’s corporate development team. Past deals she’s advised on include Amazon’s purchase of Zappos and Google’s acquisition of Admob.

The new phone-a-thon. NPR's Planet Money wants to trace the life of a tee-shirt, from cotton seed to cargo ship to your credit card. To fund this complex investigation, they've turned to Kickstarter. Their goal: $50k. And yes, backers will receive t-shirts.

Bitcoin trying to make a comeback? (Well, Trump is biting.) One big detriment to bitcoins is that banks can shut down the accounts that Bitcoin exchangers use to turn old currencies into Bitcoin. Now, a mini-ATM will handle the exchanges. The ATMs cost approximately $5,000, with cheaper deals for wholesalers.

+Seller only accepts BitCoin for $1.9 million SoHo condo.

Apps/Product of the week:

  • SmartCap - digitally enhanced bottle cap. pop the cap and it ignites a larger event - such as firing off confetti, turning on the music, checking you in
  • Songza, the app that matches expert-created music playlists to your mood or activity, has just released a huge update to its iOS app, streamlining the experience quite a bit and cleaning up the UI to ensure that users are getting the best music to match their mood and activity in the fastest time possible. One of the biggest pain points with Songza is that it’s difficult to find the right music based on artists. Sure, you can hunt for mixes by genre, mood, activity and artists

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Truth in Tech E14: The Powers that Tweet

Boston: TV Next Hack HackathonThis weekend, Hill Holiday and Mashery are hosting a hackathon around next generation TV apps. Participants will break into teams and build apps in one of the following categories: Guides, Connected TV, Companion Apps, TV Everywhere, and Analytics & Data Visualization. Winning teams also have a chance of nabbing the Best in Show award, plus $2500, and a slew of gadgets and gift cards.

Facebook acquires Parse: The mobile-backend-as-a-service startup built a useful set of back-end tools for mobile developers, including cloud data storage, and managed identity log-ins, push notifications, and custom code. Apparently other suitors came a’ calling, but FB won out.

There will be 9.4 Million Smart Glasses shipped by 2016: According to a new report from ISH iSuppli, the controversial eyewear will soon be, well, everywhere. Lest you cry "dork," IHS analyst Theo Ahadome says that the glasses' success will hinge on the robustness of their app ecosystems. If this is true, Google Ventures' new joint glass app fund with Andreesen Horowitz makes a lot of sense.

Bill Clinton joins Twitter: Though sadly, he's ditched @prezbillyjeff for the staider @billclinton. On the Colbert report, the president blamed his recalcitrance on insecurity--what if he tweeted something and no one tweeted back? I think it's safe to say that won't happen, as he's already amassed 450k followers in under 24 hours.

A Tweet from the AP’s Hacked Account Sends Stock Market for a Brief Tumble: A tweet about explosions in the White House caused the Dow to drop 145 points in seconds. Almost as quickly, the same machines that had alerted the hedgefunds and govt agencies of the news were able to determine that the tweet had been false, and shares immediately rebounded.

+Google Trends: Stock Market Predictor: A new study from Nature Scientific Reports shows the promise of search terms as market balewick. Researchers analyzed the query volumes for 98 finance-related search terms and found that a trading plan based on changes in search volumes for the word “debt” would have yielded a 326% return on investment.

NY: Andreesen Horowitz backs 3D Printing company Shapeways: The VC firm is not known for being particularly NYC-friendly, but they’re making a $30 million exception for the originally Netherlands-based startup, which prints things that can’t be printed on home 3D printers, like metal jewelry. This is also the first time a West coast VC has invested in a 3D printing company.

With Connected China, Reuters maps the power structures of the People’s Republic: The app, which took 18 months to build, maps who’s who in China, who they’re connected with, and how they got there.  

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