This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.
So last week I did this blog post highlighting The 16 SXSW Parties You Really, Really Don’t Want to Miss. And I got a ton of email from you guys & gals saying a) “Thank you, you’re a life saver!” and b) “We want more, more, MOARRR!”
For the hardcore partier, I’ve put together the ULTIMATE Guide to all the SXSW Parties (a whopping 300+ and counting!). Print this out before your trip and you’re golden, my friend. And as you can see, there’re a ton of events that don’t even require a SXSW badge.
The Third Degree
Percolate, the New York-based curation engine that helps brands source relevant content for their social media presence, just raised $1.5 million. The seed round was led by First Round Capital. Lerer Ventures and SV Angel also invested, as well as Path founder Dave Morin and Rick Webb, who used to work with Percolate co-founder Noah Brier at the Barbarian Group.
Along with the added cash, which will be used to hire a sales team and engineers, Percolate moved its platform from alpha to beta and unveiled a new design with a focus on helping brands generate content for “the social web”–in other words their Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter profiles or other branded sites.
The last time we spoke to Mr. Brier, Percolate was being bootstrapped by its founders and had just announced that it would be powering Counterparties, the Reuters owned website, for its editors Felix Salmon and Ryan McCarthy. Since then, the company has helped find content Amex OPEN Forum’s Tumblr and taken on a similar role with sites from Mastercard and GE.
Yesterday, Betabeat friend and neighbor Kat Stoeffel told you about Counterparties.com, a new Reuters blog that, in short, teaches you “to read like Felix Salmon.” The site, which features the most relevant and talked about articles from Mr. Salmon’s Twitter and Google Reader, is powered by Percolate, a seven-person East Village startup co-founded by Noah Brier, former head of strategic planning at Barbarian Group, and Federated Media vet James Gross.
Betabeat talked to Mr. Brier about why Percolate hasn’t tapped the local froth in the venture market, whether the Barbarian offices are coming down with startup fever, and why no one looks at Twitter anymore.
Jay Parkinson, the man Fast Company dubbed “The Doctor of the Future” in 2009, was lounging in his Williamsburg backyard, a few blocks from the Bedford stop on the L. It was a sleepy afternoon, interrupted only by the occasional sound of his Goldendoodle, Buddy, crunching on a bone, or his neighbors, on the other side of the fence, giving their pet pig what sounded like a bath.
The Bose radio in the kitchen piped soothing Dixieland standards past the verdant rose bushes. Dr. Parkinson went sockless in his loafers. He wore navy seersucker shorts and had his chambray shirt unbuttoned to somewhere around his fourth rib, revealing a tight, tanned torso. Life seemed swell.
“I was the doctor of the tech community,” the 35-year-old Dr. Parkinson recalled of his emergence on the scene several years ago. “It was just my first practice, but I got a ton of press and a lot of hits. So, like, anybody young and creative in New York would call me up to be their doctor.”
Welcome to New Fit City
Rick Webb is ready for a roadtrip. “D.C, Richmond, North carolina, Kennedy space center, Miami, Orlando, SF, Chapel Hill, Philly, Boston, SF, Seattle, then home a week, then Asbury park, Austin, Atlantic city, SF, LA,” he told Betabeat this morning about his plans for the next two months. “I think that’s most of it.”
Mr. Webb has been with The Barbarian Group since he helped found the company in 2001, and has been primarily responsible for developing the firms celebrated “secret-sauce”. In the last year he has become a much more active tech investor and says he’s ready for a new challenge, although he won’t say yet what that is. “I am consciously undecided. I figure I’ve done the same thing for so long I need to decompress before I even think about doing anything else.”
Knowing Mr. Webb is an acolyte of the Four Hour Body, we wondered if this trip would be some combination of new aged mysticism and cyber quantification in search of his next big mission. “It’s not like some vision quest or anything. Mainly seeing old friends and weddings.”
We hear from sources that the search for a replacement is already underway, but probably won’t become official for a little while. Pass on any intel to firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK CITY’S START-UP SCENESTERS were nowhere near the isle of Manhattan when the 4 Hour Body fad hit its tipping point among the local tech set. In fact, according to Rick Webb, co-founder of the Tribeca-based digital agency the Barbarian Group, the digerati diet craze currently upending start-up snack supplies and clogging Twitter feeds with the hashtag #4HB reached comic proportions during the city’s annual pilgrimage to Austin, Texas, back in March.
Mr. Webb traced the outbreak back to the carbo-loading marathon that is South by Southwest. Or “beer and taco week,” as Mr. Webb described it. He and several other techies had recently become disciples of The 4 Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman, a life-hacking manual written by Tim Ferriss that distills a decade of experiments into chapters about slow carbs, self-tracking and, yes, how to make a woman orgasm in 15 minutes.