2011 in Review
Betabeat was sceptical when we first heard about Beyond Oblivian, a New York based music startup that got $87 million in backing from big names like Allen & Co., Sony and News. Corp. The startup aimed to take on Spotify by offering an unlimited music streaming service with no monthly fee. Instead the service came baked into smartphones, adding around $60 to the cost of each device,
Seems like our doubts were well founded. The Financial Times is reporting that has shut down before it even launched.
Irrefutable proof! As in don’t try to refute it, okay?
On his way to achieving A-List Hollywood heartthrob status this year, actor Ryan Gosling became an internet meme. Mr. Gosling has a slew of sites devoted to pictures of the actor accompanied by quotes that begin with the phrase "Hey Girl" and depict Mr. Gosling as your ideal boyfriend. "Hey girl, can we just sit and watch the sunset together?" asks one exemplary posting.
Now. Mr. Gosling is the subject of a site that takes this meme to the campaign trail and packs it with backroom terminology and insidery references to voter outreach techniques. "Hey girl, you must be a predictive support model, because my numbers fit perfect against your curves," reads a typical entry on the Campaign Sick blog. Read More
Predictions! What do New York techies think will happen to the internet-centric economy in 2012? We asked some smart founders, VCs and members of the startup ecosystem where they think tech, the internet and the New York tech scene are headed in 2012 (assuming the world doesn’t end either due to the apocalypse or SOPA, that is). Without further ado!
So, we at Betabeat have been waiting to roll this one out for a while. Seeing as how the business year is coming to a close today—and also, like, nobody’s around to read what you’re about to read—there’s no time quite like the present to disclose the following:
My fat, white Jewish ass has been engaged in a battle with Groupon for about three months now.
Hires and Fires
How does a CEO at a massive enterprise tech company get himself fired. The letter from Jodie Fisher and her lawyers that that brought down HP’s Mark Hurd surfaced today. In it they accuse him of sexual harassment.
Who Owns You Online?
This morning Betabeat learned that Rolling.fm co-founder and former Googler Tim Zhou had joined Tumblr. It has also come to light that another Rolling cofounder and Xoogler, Thomas Chau, has joined another prominent New York startup: Squarespace. “We liked Thomas’s strong entrepreneurial spirit (take risks and run fast) along with his perfect Squarespace DNA of product design sensibility coupled with engineering awesomeness,” Squarespace SVP Jesse Hertzberg wrote in an email. Squarespace, if you’re not familiar, is a website builder and hosting platform (that is often likened to Tumblr, as it happens) founded in 2003. Now we just need to suss out what has become of the third Rolling co-founder, Xoogler Nhon Ma…
A New York banker is caught in a bizzare legal dispute that highlights the growing tension around individuals and their social media accounts after they part ways with their employer.
We reported on Monday about Noah Kravitz, who was sued for $340,000 by an ex-employer who claimed his Twitter account was rightfully theirs, and that each follower he had absconded with was costing them $2.50 per month in lost revenue.
Today we read on TechDirt about Linda Eagle, a Manhattan banker, who was one of three founders at the Edcomm Group. Her firm was purchased by Sawabeh Information Services in 2010 and she was terminated in June 2011.
Ms. Eagle had provided her LinkedIn password to Edcomm, and after she left, the company apparently went in and changed her name and picture to somebody else at the company.
In the last week, GoDaddy has rescinded its support for the Stop Online Piracy Act, announced its opposition to the bill’s Senate companion Protect IP Act, and had itself taken off Congress’s list of SOPA supporters. “We have observed a spike in domain name transfers, which are running above normal rates and which we attribute to GoDaddy’s prior support for SOPA, which was reversed,” CEO Warrn Adelman said in a statement released yesterday. “GoDaddy opposes SOPA because the legislation has not fulfilled its basic requirement to build a consensus among stake-holders in the technology and Internet communities. Our company regrets the loss of any of our customers, who remain our highest priority, and we hope to repair those relationships and win back their business over time.”
Israelis have been into Bitcoin for a while: you can buy Israeli olive oil with Bitcoin, there is a BTC exchange exclusively for shekels and the Tel Aviv Bitcoin Meetup has 14 members and an event coming up on January 4. Back in October, an Israeli floated the idea of a Bitcoin hacking space in Tel Aviv. But the Israeli media have been napping on the e-currency until now.