Considering moving the rumor roundup from Monday to Tuesday, as Monday is just so close to Friday… Feel free to give your opinions!
VISITING DIGNITARIES. Actor Kal Penn, liaison to the young people on behalf of the White House, is doing an “entrepreneur round table” tonight at General Assembly! Hope some residents were thoughtful enough to pick up some White Castle.
VISITING MOGULS. Matt Mullenweg, one of PC World’s Top 50 People on the Web, Inc.com’s 30 under 30, and Business Week’s 25 Most Influential People on the Web, and oh yeah, a founder of Automattic and Audrey Capital, is in New York and will be attending the launch party for Dan Abram’s new influencer gossip site Mogulite tonight at The Townhouse.
BLIND PERSONNEL ISSUES. A big New York online advertising firm has lost basically its entire engineering team, save some additions in India, due to a dysfunctional culture clash between tech and marketing, a source says. “A number of staffers were seen pitching ideas [for their next moves] around the TechStars Demo Day.”
THE PHANTOM DIRECTORY. Tumblr is soliciting bios for a new directory that isn’t live yet, a source tells us, presumably an update to the directory the company launched months ago and then pulled after selling listings in too few categories for just $5. Betabeat rumor-reported Tumblr was planning a comeback for the directory with more sophisticated pricing, and that may happen soon, as some authors are being asked to “write as much as you want. The more the better” about their blogs, we’re told.
MEETUP, ON THE CHEAP. An entrepreneur in the tri-state area keeps soliciting via Craigslist for a developer to rig up a Meetup.com clone. “It must have all the social community features that meetup.com has, including the capability to add new groups, users events, polls, connect to other social communities, shopping cart, sponsors and sub sites,” the ad says. The budget for such a site? “$500 TO $700 NO MORE.” Then two days later, presumably the same person reposts in a different section and drops the price to “$300 to $600. no begininers.” So what do clone artists think other New York start-ups’ web sites are worth? The average bid for a Thrillist rip-off was $242 some years ago, and an entrepreneur currently seeks a GroupMe clone for $200 to $500.
WHO’S OUT WEST: Tout founder Tawheed Kader is settled into his Mountain View accelerator program, which we now know is Dave McClure’s 500Startups. Cheryl Yeoh, Carter Cleveland, Scott Beale are also California dreaming this week.