coffee shops

Airbnb Appears To Be Getting Into The Massive Local-Advertising Fight With Groupon, Google, And Yelp (YELP, GRPN, GOOG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/airbnb-local-advertising-2012-11

Airbnb cofounder Joe Gebbia

We think Airbnb is laying the groundwork for a big push into helping local businesses market themselves.

Airbnb is creating guidebooks to neighborhoods for people who book lodging with its service, and designating some local coffee shops as official “Airbnb Local Lounges,” where guests can cool their heels and get their bearings while waiting, say, for a host to show up with keys to the apartment they’re renting.

That positions Airbnb to direct valuable tourist traffic to favored businesses—a new potential revenue stream which may be part of the reason why Airbnb is seeking fresh financing at a reported $2.5 billion valuation, far above the price set on its last infusion from investors.

It’s easy to see how providing local information translates to carrying local advertising or offering local deals, as Yelp, Groupon, and Google do today. The difference is that Airbnb can do it to a much more targeted and valuable demographic: travelers.

We asked Airbnb cofounder Joe Gebbia if that was the eventual plan.

“We certainly hope so,” he said. Airbnb had experimented with letting hosts create their own neighborhood guidebooks for guests. But they had only listed a total of 150,000 local businesses—a drop in the bucket for a service that books as many as 60,000 visitor nights a day

But Gebbia took pain! s to poi nt out that right now, the emphasis is on presenting a “curated,” or hand-selected, mix of businesses to ensure that guests have a good experience.

After all, booking lodging is Airbnb’s only business today.

Tomorrow’s another day, though.

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Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 news No Comments

This Photo Shows Exactly Why You Should Be Skeptical Of Psychology Research

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-psychology-research-is-unreliable-2012-10

One of the biggest problems in the world of science is researcher bias.

More transparency is needed across the board, say Joseph Simmons and Uri Simonsohn of Wharton and Leif Nelson of UC Berkeley in their paper “21 word solution.”

It’s a follow-up to their 2011 paper, “False Positive Psychology,” which uncovered many of the holes that exist in psychology research. One of the problems is “p-hacking,” or the practice of changing assumptions or data in an experiment to ensure that the probability (“p”) an opposite hypothesis (“null”) contradicts the research is below a certain level. Ultimately, “p-hacking” makes research less valid and increases the number of “false positives.”

Because of this, the authors put together a 21-word statement every researcher should use as a disclosure, which they hope will make the field of science more transparent:

“We report how we determined our sample size, all data exclusions (if any), all manipulations, and all measures in the study.”

The authors perfectly sum up the transparency problem with an analogy and a photo. Whereas coffee shops are required to label milk containers, scientists don’t have to “label their milk.” In other words, researchers don’t have to relay what data they started out with, whether they took observations out, or whether they’ve dropped things from their model:

P-hacking photo

The table below of simulated results from their earlier paper shows how much these! unrepor ted techniques can impact statistical significance:

Statistics table
The lesson? Look for disclosures in any scientific paper, and always be skeptical.

Read the full article here

NOW READ: 18 Tips On Making Smarter Decisions 

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Monday, October 22nd, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5574937/starbucks-is-slowly-reviving-the-coffee-nerding-of-america

Starbucks Is Slowly Reviving the Coffee Nerding of AmericaThe Clover was a nerd’s way to make coffee. Every parameter precisely, digitally controlled, for the most of tweaky of experimentation—or you can make the exact same cup over and over. Then Starbucks bought the company.

What happened next: Waves of independent coffee shops ditched their $10,000 Clover machines, for practical and philosophical reasons. Starbucks rolled them out to 50ish stores across the Northeast, Seattle and San Francisco. Then expansion stopped. That was almost two years ago.

Starbucks’ first Clover showed up in New York around two months ago, in a nearly 20-year-old location that’s been converted into a concept store. The thaw is beginning. Starbucks plans to finally expand the Clover’s footprint gradually over the next 6-8 months, as they figure out how to integrate the machine into the natural rhythm of stores—which is basically dominated by Frappuccinos these days, not coffee.

In a way, it’s a hard sell. The kind of people who would be most interested in coffee made via Clover, designed to pull the most out of a coffee—so shitty coffee would taste shittier—don’t go to Starbucks. Starbucks is so reviled by people who actually like coffee that they’ve experimented with burying the Starbucks name two pilot stores in Seattle which are designed to look more like the kind of place that serves Intelligentsia or Stumptown coffee. So it’s heartening to see them try to live up a bit more to the ideals of caring about coffee and how it’s served.

Starbucks Is Slowly Reviving the Coffee Nerding of AmericaFor instance, while 30 days is what Starbucks considers the expiration date on beans in a store—16 days longer than any self-conscious shop would serve them—if you order a cup made with Clover, you’re far more likely to get beans roasted within the 2-week mark. (In part because there are limited quantities of some coffees served using Clover, like the Jamaica Blue Mountain they’re offering starting tomorrow.)

They’re also making use of their spin on Clovernet, which was one of the big hype points of the machine: Shops and their baristas could share, upload and download recipes for coffees made via Clover. Starbucks pushes recipes for each coffee it serves on the Clover—around 4-6—to stores via a similar network, so there are custom parameters for each coffee. African coffees get a different treatment versus South American ones, as they should.

For all the technology in the Clover, though, it ultimately comes down to the guy (or girl) handling it. Hopefully, it’s someone nerdy enough to know what the Clover was before it landed in front of them at Starbucks.

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Monday, June 28th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

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