Betabeat pulled an all-nighter in midtown last night. First a quick roll at the Renzo Gracie’s academy, then back to the office for a dinner of street meat, change into our game face, and off to the Hudson Hotel at West 58th for GroupMe’s one year anniversary party.
The first person we recognized entering the cavernous basement space was GroupMe co-founder Steve Martocci. Happy anniversary, brah.
“Dude, you like Talking Heads?”
“We got this Talking Heads cover band, just finished their first set. They’re amazing.” Never forget, GroupMe was inspired by Martocci’s troubles communicating with his friends and fellow fans who were following the Disco Biscuits around on tour.
The circle widened to reveal two of New York media’s eligible free agents chatting it up. “You want a drink,” offered bachelor # 18, TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid, the smell of sweet California sun still lingering around the newly-minted New Yorker. “Yes please,” replied bachelorette number #25, Megan McCarthy, who left San Fran a few months before Mr. Kincaid to run MediaGazer.
Betabeat joined Mr. Kincaid at the bar, which was free Heinekens, but cash the rest of the way. A little disappointing since last time we were at the Hudson, (for TechCrunch Disrupt afterparty, natch), hard liquor was free. But hey, the start-up winter cometh, and not everyone can spend paper like AOL.
A pair of tall, striking brunettes noticed us at the bar. One of them had met Mr. Kincaid at an event a few months prior. “I saw you were on the bachelors list,” she said with a mischevious grin. Mr. Kincaid smiled at Betabeat, and offered to buy this round of drinks.
GroupMe super-meme and Free Agent Mashup artist Matt Langer strolled over, cleanly shaven and sporting a dapper suit. Mr. Langer explained that he couldn’t find the right algorithm to parse the text from the male and female suitors, but the end result, a sort of dada-ist dating language, definitely hit the right note. “I think it was like 2am when I pushed the site live and I was pretty drunk, but people seem to like it.”
Schematic Labs CEO Steve Jang, who makes the popular @SoundTracking app, joined the circle, along with Aviary’s Biz Dev wizard Alex Taub. “Dude, Aviary saved my life,” Mr. Jang declared. He has been at his brother’s wedding in Mexico, and was in charge of running the “fond memories” slideshow that played during the reception. But the program he was using only worked if the music track fit the length of the visuals. “I jumped on Aviary on the hotel computer, went into the audio editor, and spliced the song to repeat a second time.” Remember kids, HTML5 saves lives and marriages.
Betaworks Director of Finance and Operations Antonia Abraham stopped by to say hello. “Ron Conway is up in the VIP room. He is sitting by himself at a table. It was like, very VIP,” she said with a laugh. Betabeat learned we had been on media blackout from Betaworks, based on some clueless posts we wrote when we first started covering tech for the NY Observer. Luckily our recent piece on patent trolls, seems to have earned back a bit of goodwill. “I think you’re officially off the hit list.”
Emboldened by that knowledge, Betabeat snuck up into the VIP section to find Mr. Conway, who sadly had already skeedaddled. We watched the band storm through a rendition of Once in a Lifetime, with dozens of NYC techies flailing on the dance floor. A quick discussion on the finer points of how to avoid gross pick-up artists on the street with the charming @chelsa (we both agree, headphones, even without sound) and then it was back to the Observer offices for a well deserved sleep on @espiers couch. On the way out, we heard a Jumo employee was looking for Betabeat, hoping to give a fist bump.