Hardware is the New Software

Grand St. Reimagines Retail for Personalized Tech: Hardware Has Changed, So Should the Way It’s Sold

Ms. Peyton (Photo: @msg via AmandaPeyton.com)

All that hardware-is-the-new-software talk you’ve been hearing will soon get an equally avant-garde means of distribution, courtesy of a new venture called Grand St. “We are re-thinking online electronics retail for this new era in hardware,” Grand St. cofounder Amanda Peyton, a Y Combinator alum, told Betabeat.

Between the financial model for hardware shifting–with pre-sales on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo or product development through Quirky–not to mention 3D printing and rise of the maker, “The experience of finding and buying new personal technology needs to adapt as well,” Ms. Peyton wrote on her blog yesterday, in an introduction to Grand St. Read More

SOPA Opera

NYC Startup Founder Says Schumer’s Office Told Her the Senator ‘Is In Favor of Censoring the Internet’

GiliSchumer1-300x199

Message Party founder Amanda Peyton was in for a rude awakening this morning when she tried to do the right thing. Rather than taking the Internet’s word for it that the proposed Protect IP Act (PIPA) is inherently evil—”I know how myopic the tech world can be sometimes,” she notes—Ms. Peyton decided to go to the source:  Senator Chuck Schumer, co-sponsor of the bill. Read More

Mama I'm Coming Home

Return of the Diaspora: After a Taste of the Valley, New York Techies are Coming Home

(flickr.com/usnationalarchives)

Underlit bars and blaring techno set the scene at the Park Avenue Armory earlier this month, when a who’s who of New York’s tech scene gathered in the cavernous block-length building for the sort of startup event that bore little resemblance to the usual beer, pizza and Powerpoint office gathering. No, this was a fashion show; a nerdy fashion show, to be sure, but one with glamour and theatrics. Raise Cache, a fundraiser for the apprentice developer program HackNY, tapped local tech personalities to walk the runway outfitted in glasses from local e-prescriber Warby Parker, slacks from e-tailor Bonobos and accessories from e-jeweler Bauble Bar. Larger-than-life cartoon avatars lorded over the crowd from the DJ booth as amateur DJs spun tracks using Union Square-based streaming music startup Turntable.fm. Founders and VCs milled about in gowns, coattails, pinstriped vests, glittery tights and cowboy hats. A recording of Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has been pumping his pom-poms for the New York tech scene of late, boomed out at the close of the show: “Now more than ever, [New York] is the place for to be for tech soirees!” Read More

Class Is in Session

Amanda Peyton Fact-Checks the New York Post’s Faulty Tech Coverage

Full-time entrepreneur, part-time factchecker.

In in its Sunday issue, the New York Post put its own spin on data showing that New York City’s tech start-ups racked up $1.7 billion in funding this past year. Using numbers from CB Insights, the paper identified nine “NYC tech giants” based on the amount of funding those start-ups had accrued. But at least one tech scene native was restless over the way the results were reported.

On her Tumblr, MessageParty co-founder Amanda Peyton, who works out of the Makery’s co-working space in Williamsburg, pointed out some of the “half-truths or straight-up errors” in the piece. Her issue wasn’t the numbers, but rather the way the paper described what the companies do. After acknowledging that the tech reporting isn’t exactly in the Post’s wheelhouse, Ms. Peyton added, “But surely someone there should know that Foursquare isn’t an e-commerce company.” Read More

Hyperlocal

Making Manhattan The Web: Twitter as Wall Street, Tumblr is Meatpacking

NYC as Web

MessageParty c0-founder Amanda Peyton imagined a web centric New York, in which the personalities of different services are charted to the appropriate neighborhood.

Twitter symbolizes Wall Street: “Frenetic, Jumbled, Terse, but incredibly powerful.”

Tumblr stands in for West Village and Meatpacking: “Coolness to a fault.”

Worth checking out the whole thing here.

In the meantime, feel free to get even more specific in the comments. Betabeat was thinking 4Chan for the surviving smut of West Times Square and maybe Facebook knock-off Renren for Canal Street.

Location Based

MessageParty Relaunches As Local Geo Blog

message party

When it launched a year ago, MessageParty was a sort of Yobongo / Chat Roulette, letting users send messages to one another in a given local. But CEO Amanda Payton noticed that folks weren’t talking to one another so much, instead they were recording a sort of narrative of the location. Today the service relaunches in New York as a Geo Blogging platform for users to leave notes, videos and images tagged to a certain place. Read More