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Caterina Fake Launches Pinwheel, Which Lets You Leave Notes Around The World

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/caterina-fake-launches-pinwheel-which-lets-you-leave-notes-around-the-world-2012-2


Caterina Fake

Caterina Fake, who previously cofounded Flickr and Hunch, has launched a new startup called Pinwheel, which lets you leave vitrtual notes around the world.

She announced the launch on her personal blog earlier today.

Enter the Internet of things, where you can choose to follow people, places or things. The notes you leave can be private, or you can share them with everything and everybody. 

The possibilities seem endless.

For instance, Fake shared a note she wrote for her friend Lauren:

note

Perhaps this would be a more useful note when you’re roaming around town: “Find me a Nearby Toilet NOW.” 

That seems to be coming soon: Fake wrote on her blog that she plans on building out a notification system so you can get pinged when someone you follow sends out a note.

We knew last year that True Ventures, SV Angel and her fund, Founder Collective, invested.

As far as making money, Fake is betting on selling sponsored notes.

The site is still in private beta — you can sign up here for an invite to try out the web and mobile app. The iOS version is coming up next.

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Friday, February 17th, 2012 news No Comments

Google+ Is Growing Much Faster Than Facebook Did In The Early Days (GOOG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-google-is-growing-much-faster-than-facebook-did-in-the-early-days-2012-2


Don’t write off Google+ just yet — compared to Facebook’s early days, its growth is meteoric.

It took Facebook nearly a year to reach a million users and more than four years to reach 100 million. It took Google+ about two weeks to reach 10 million, and less than a year to reach 100 million. Paul Allen, the “unofficial” statistician for Google+ and founder of Ancestry.com, says Google+ could reach 400 million users by the end of the year.

Obviously Google+ has a huge advantages over Facebook from 2004. Facebook was closed to everyone but students back then. Google+ is getting a push from the world’s largest search engine. The Internet is more widely adopted now.

But still. 

chart of the day facebook google+

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Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 news No Comments

Jessica Alba’s New Startup Will Tempt You To Buy Green Diapers

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/jessica-albas-new-startup-will-tempt-you-to-buy-green-diapers-2012-1


Meet Brian Lee, Co-Founder of Honest Company at IGNITION West!

Jessica Alba

Actress-turned-entrepreneur Jessica Alba co-founded a startup called Honest Company, an online commerce site that sells green diapers, biodegradable wipes, and other environment friendly items.

All those baby items are sold under a private label, Kara Swisher at AllThingsD reports.

Alba had a hard time finding non-toxic products, so she decided to create a marketplace for it. There’s been a lot of buzz around the launch of Honest, which has a subscription model, depending on how many baby products you need.

Alba’s cofounder is Brian Lee, who also cofounded Shoe Dazzle with Kim Kardashian, and LegalZoom with Robert Shapiro.

Don’t Miss: 10 Celebrities That Are Pouring Money Into Startups

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Thursday, January 26th, 2012 news No Comments

Tumblr Blows Past 15 Billion Pageviews Per Month, Thumbing Nose At Old Media Thinking As It Goes

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/tumblr-blows-past-15-billion-pageviews-per-month-2012-1


david%20karp%20wallstrip

The latest social-media phenomenon, Tumblr, continues to post astounding traffic metrics.

Founder and CEO David Karp spoke at the DLD conference in Munich this morning, where he reiterated some of the company’s recent milestones:

  • 100+ million uniques per month
  • 15+ billion pageviews per month

Tumblr, which is basically halfway between a blogging platform and Twitter, allows users to post photos, videos, and text. Critically, it also allows users to “follow” each other and “re-blog” the posts of others.

The latter concepts, which Twitter has also capitalized on with amazing success (through “following” and “re-tweets”), inserts reblogged posts into each user’s timeline stream. Thus, anyone who “follows” a user, also sees the re-blogged posts.

This turns Tumblr users into editors and curators in addition to content creators. The sharing functionality allows posts to spread rapidly, just as links and headlines do on Facebook and Twitter. In Tumblr’s case, though, the whole post is shared, not just the headline and link.

It’s worth noting that this whole concept makes a mockery of the idea of traditional content “theft.” If someone “re-blogged” a traditional newspaper story, inserting it into their own site, the newspaper would probably scream bloody murder and sic lawyers on them. And yet, on Tumblr, those whose posts are “re-blogged” feel nothing but gratitude and pride (thanks for sharing my work!).

Some other stats from David Karp’s talk this morning (as tweeted by idealab founder Bill Gross and digital journalism guru Jeff Jarvis):

  • The average post is “re-blogged” 9 times
  • 90% of the posts on Tumblr are reblogs or groups (curation). 10% are original content creation.

In another DLD panel, Glam Media CEO Samir Arora remarked that the “old version of media was that you needed editors that work for you. In new era they don’t.”

Nowhere is that more clear than at Tumblr.

SEE ALSO: Check Out Tumblr’s Amazing New York Headquarters, Where All Those Pageviews Are Made

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Monday, January 23rd, 2012 news No Comments

You Won’t Believe How Big This Profitable 5-Person Startup Is

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/you-wont-believe-how-big-this-profitable-5-person-startup-is-2011-11


adrian constantin tv links

We recently met with Adrian Constantin, the founder of video startup TV Links

TV Links is a video aggregator and search engine, serving up videos from hundreds of sites, similar to US startup Clicker.

It’s not the most innovative business in the world, but here’s what you should know about it: it’s bootstrapped, profitable, it claims 37 million monthly unique visitors, and it has only 5 employees

TV Links is not just impressive, it’s interesting because it’s a combination of two important trends: globalization, and the extreme capital efficiency of online businesses. 

Globalization: the company has developers in Romania, servers in Spain and in the US through Amazon, and most of its users coming from the US, UK and Canada. 

Extreme capital efficiency: the company basically outsources everything: hosting, advertising and even some development. 

TV Links’ one weak spot is that it gets the vast majority of its traffic from Google and so will live and die by SEO. But the company has ambitious plans; it’s even starting to produce its own original video. 

We once wrote that Instagram is the future of startups in part because of its extreme capital efficiency: it has over 10 million users and half a dozen staff (the other reason is distribution via app stores and social media). TV Links is another example of this extreme capital efficiency; unlike Instagram, it gets distribution through the more “traditional” medium of search engines, but unlike Instagram it’s also profitable. 

This new reality has broad implications beyond startups. If you’re wondering about the sky-high valuations of companies like LinkedIn or Twitter, part of your calculus should also take into account the fact that it’s now possible to build these very efficient businesses with huge global markets, something which wasn’t possible 10 years ago when “clouds” were still things in the sky and the internet population was counted in millions, not billions.

We will see many more of these ultra capital-efficient, globally-distributed online businesses in the future. 

MORE: Why Instagram Is The Future Of Startups →

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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 news No Comments

Sean Parker Invests In Music Startup StageIt

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/boonsri-dickinson-sean-parker-invests-in-a-hot-music-startup-stageit-2011-12


Sean Parker web 2.0

We’ve learned that billionaire Sean Parker of Napster and Facebook fame has invested in StageIt, an online platform for live concerts.

The investment makes sense, as Parker has been focused on shaking up the music industry.

While Parker disrupted the music industry in the late 1990’s when he created Napster, he may soon do the same with his latest involvement in Spotify. We reported earlier that Parker said Spotify will finish what Napster started — deliver instant gratification to music fans.

The Los Angeles-based startup StageIt can deliver a different type of gratification. The platform lets artists set up digital concerts and gives them a way to make money without ever having to leave their house.

Two years ago, StageIt founder Evan Lowenstein founded the company based on the idea people that would pay for a unique experience.

Not long ago, Lowenstein came into play for me to demo the service: As a singer himself, he played “Crazy for This Girl” to show how fans purchase tickets to watch him live and use a chat feature to talk to him during the performance.

“You can’t pirate intimacy and you can’t pirate an experience,” Lowenstein said.

 

 

 

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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 news No Comments

Free Shipping On The Web Isn’t So ‘Free’ Anymore

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/free-shipping-isnt-so-free-anymore-2011-11


shipping, trade, container

It’s no surprise why online shopping is so popular.

“You get the item quickly, you don’t pay for shipping, you often receive better prices, and you don’t have to leave your house,” said Andrew Schrage, founder of Money Crashers.

Perhaps in response to shoppers like Schrage, businesses have been giving away free shipping with a vengeance.

Some 93 percent of stores will offer at least one free shipping deal this year, which means a six percent increase from last year. Meanwhile 30 percent of store sites will offer free shipping on Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation.

Experts like Kit Yarrow, a professor of psychology and marketing at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, Calif., told Smart Money that free shipping has become an expectation. However, things don’t always don’t always pan out for consumers.

Retailers may raise the price of their products to make up for shipping costs or bar consumers from using coupons. She also warns shoppers to consider the overall package, including whether or not you can combine discounts.

Besides analyzing the overall deal, Schrage advises shoppers to stick to Web-based companies when shopping online.

“Online sites like Amazon almost ALWAYS have as cheap, and usually cheaper, prices than these retailers who also provide free shipping,” he said.

He points out that companies like Amazon even offer two-day shipping for free, and maintain great return policies that prove to be better than those of bricks-and-mortar stores.

From time to time Schrage admits you will seen an online site offer a higher retail price with free shipping. But stay away—you can score a better deal.

Check out 10 FREE Black Friday apps to help you survive the mall >

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Sunday, November 27th, 2011 news No Comments

This Bakery Had To Make 102,000 Cupcakes Because Of A Groupon Deal And Lost A Ton Of Money

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/london-baker-makes-102000-cupcakes-groupon-deal-2011-11


need a cake bakery

A London bakery recently experienced the worst-case scenario of offering a Groupon for a small business, and it cost the owner thousands (via NBC Chicago).

Need a Cake bakery owner Rachel Brown decided to put up a 75% discount on a dozen cupcakes on the site, which dropped the price down to $10 from $40.

Apparently, people really love getting cupcakes cheap, because she was rushed by throngs of customers in a cupcake frenzy. 8,500 people signed up, and her crew of eight had to make 102,000 cupcakes to meet the orders.

Brown lost $3 per batch because she had to hire 25 extra workers to help, and she ended up losing $20,000 because of it, which a ton for a small biz. It wiped out her profits for the year, reports the Daily Mail.

“Without doubt, it was my worst ever business decision,” she told the BBC. “We had thousands of orders pouring in that really we hadn’t expected to have. A much larger company would have difficulty coping.”

This is just the latest in Groupon small business horror stories. A story popped up in September about a Portland cafe losing $8,000 because of a Groupon, which prompted a personal letter from founder and CEO Andrew Mason.

It brings up the always-present question about the daily deals site: does Groupon suck for small businesses?

Well, it looks like most small businesses think so. An overwhelming majority of 70% hate Groupon, if the latest survey from iContact is to be believed.

As for Brown and her bakery, the experience may have cost her 20 grand, but what about all the exposure she’s getting for her store? Great, right? It doesn’t hurt, but it probably wasn’t worth the cost.

Small businesses like this bakery thrive on relationships with their local customers, not crowds of outsiders coming in to snatch up a free lunch.

Getting new customers is great, but in this case, the bakery rewarded the wrong customers. Those 8,500 people that rushed for the Groupon probably won’t be coming back to pay for the same cupcakes at quadruple the price.

Only those the store has nurtured relationships with for a long time (in Brown’s case, 25 years), should be the ones rewarded. They’re the ones that keep coming back for more.

NOW SEE: The 10 Largest Family Businesses In The US >

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Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 news No Comments

Google Rolling Out "Google Me," Their Facebook Killer, Very Soon [Unconfirmed]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5573953/rumor-google-rolling-out-google-me-their-facebook-killer-very-soon

Well this is kinda wacky. Citing a “very credible source,” Digg founder Kevin Rose tweeted that Google is readying “Google Me,” a social service intended to go toe-to-toe (face-to-face?) with Facebook. It’s like Google stalking, but official, and thus marginally less creepy!

Google Buzz, their most recent foray into social networking, was not a resounding success (read: total privacy shitshow) and I imagine there’s some lingering skepticism about Google’s ability to actually keep all of its users information on lockdown.

Then again, they already know just about everything there is to know about you, so maybe it’d be easier to forget Facebook altogether and just click a button in Gmail that says, “Yes! Cull your extensive records to make a “Google Me” profile in my best image, selectively including the photographs and personal interests likeliest to get me laid.” Kidding, kidding, I promise that’s not what I’m all about. Seriously! Google me! [Kevin Rose via Runnin Scared and SF Weekly]

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Sunday, June 27th, 2010 news 1 Comment

Why the power of the people is the only way to go

When the founder of Wikipedia and/or a small team of volunteers deletes purportedly “pornographic” images per their right, activists and others have a problem with that — even ones who support the concept. But in an automated system (where when enough members of the community click “flag as inappropriate” the content is removed) the community has spoken and the community has policed itself — the way Flickr, YouTube, and Amazon (flagging inappropriate reviews) do it.

Dispute brews over pornographic images on Wikimedia

A row over sexually explicit content on the web encyclopaedia Wikipedia and related sites has escalated.

Co-founder Jimmy Wales has given up some of his site privileges following protests by contributors angered that he deleted images without consultation.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/10104946.stm

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Monday, May 10th, 2010 digital 1 Comment

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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