Randi, Can You Hear Me? Yesterday evening, Betabeat attended a Bravo casting call masquerading as a networking event. An email passed around the technoscenti sought locals “who have a full time career and full time lifestyle” to possibly maybe star in an New York spin off of Randi Zuckerberg‘s much-maligned show.
But we hear Ms. Zuckerberg may have some competition. A source mentioned that MTV is also working on a startup reality show rumored to be produced by peripatetic Foodspotter Soraya Darabi and “a Reddit cofounder.” Ms. Darabi told Betabeat she was “not involved” in the project and Reddit cofounders Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman did not immediately responded to our inquiry, so it’s hard to say if that was just wishful thinking. However, an independent New York City-based casting director–not the lovely gentleman from last night!–confirmed that “There’s a bunch of networks” currently testing reality programming about startups, including MTV and possibly CNBC.
In fact, the casting director said he put together a reel of potential entrepreneurs–some in New York–for Bravo this summer, before “Start-Ups: Silicon Alley” had even aired. “Kind of like the ‘Housewives’ was successful, you look for more ‘Housewives,” he said, noting that the success of “Pawn Stars” on the History Channel begat “American Pickers” and “American Restoration.”
“Tons of networks,” he said, “are looking into the startup space.”
“Right now, there’s a little trend going on where poeple are kind of into almost like the American dream,” he explained. “You could turn on networks and could see people who are the best at what they do, celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay. But there hasn’t been a whole lot of documenting people with amazing ideas starting off.” Networks want to “ride the journey,” along with entrepreneurs. As for what kind of characters Bravo requested, “Every network has a demographic. You’re not going to send Bravo four 80-year-old people starting a company,” he acknowledged. “We’re first looking for really great idea and then you just pray the people have personalities. You just need to be not be really shy.”
Sounds like enough fodder to keep Pando Daily’s coffers stocked for a week.
Live From New York, It’s Makerbot Last night, at the launch of Wired‘s new holiday popup, Betabeat made the acquaintance of SNL stars Vanessa Bayer and Fred Armisen. Despite the fact that the room was decked out like an electronics store with gadgets galore, Ms. Bayer, in a grey and black Zara top, could not get enough of the Makerbot 3D printer Wired had on display.
When we asked what her favorite gadget there was, she told us it was “definitely the 3D printer.” We suggested that perhaps she might want to check out Makerbot’s new store in Nolita, where you can purchase little printed objects. “Did you know,” she asked, her eyes wide, “that the 3D printer printed that set of headphones?” She gestured to a pair of red headphones in a glass case across the room. “That is so cool. I literally can’t stop telling people about the 3D printer.”
As we were leaving, Betabeat ran into her again, and mentioned that a friend of ours had joked that the party space looked a little too much like a Best Buy. “What kind of Best Buy has a 3D printer???” she asked, aghast.
GOOG Goes to Spam Betabeat receives a lot of press releases, and almost all of them route directly to our inboxes, leaving our spam folder for the detritus of the web. Except for one peculiar thing: almost every single email we’ve received from a PR person–or anyone with a @google.com email address, really–gets directed immediately to spam. It’s strange, considering Gmail is a product created and maintained by the company whose emails we are fielding. We’ve asked multiple Google PR reps what the deal is, but their best answer is that we should just continuing marking them as “not spam” to retrain Gmail. Ah, tech reporting is a rough gig.
Bromance Another day, another social media gem from Thrillist CEO Ben Lerer. This time, it’s a bit of Twitter back-and-forth:
Peer Pressure Congrats to Matt Langer, who as per his Twitter account just celebrated six months as a nonsmoker. What’s more interesting is the reason: He admitted to Anil Dash, human conscience of the tech scene, that “not even joking, one of the pros when i was trying to psych myself up to quit was ‘anil won’t think i’m a fucking terrible person.’” We thought that seemed a little extreme, until we saw this riposte from Mr. Dash: “Ex-smokers have nothing but my appreciation. Smokers can go die slow, painful deaths.”
Excuse us while we dash out for a packet of Nicorette.