Alley vs. Valley
YouAre.TV founder and General Assembly alum Josh Weinstein is back in New York after an ill-fated adventure in Palo Alto, taking with him his hockey pads and leaving behind a flaky coder who was supposed to become YouAre.TV’s CTO.
Mr. Weinstein penned a tell-all-blog post in which he explains how Palo Alto was fun at first, what with all the hanging out at Facebook and Google, and how he got to play hockey with Guy Kawasaki (more than once!) and had a stand-up desk. Of course, it was superangel Peter Thiel who convinced Mr. Weinstein to move to the Valley–Mr. Thiel regards the bright young founder as an accolyte–so Mr. Weinstein was able to be close to his mentor. “At first, we wondered if Mr. Thiel just wanted to have someone to play chess with. But YouAre.TV just recruited a new CTO, so we guess there are still plans to build a company,” Betabeat wrote in a rumor roundup at the time.
Sadly, things quickly went sour. Mr. Weinstein discovered Palo Alto was understimulating. “As a city kid, I started to feel the isolation of living in Palo Alto and not working in a coworking space,” he wrote. To make things worse, his CTO wasn’t working as much as promised–and kept pushing back his start date.
LOOKBACK. And the most popular rumor item last week was… TechStars intelligence! Readers have been pinging the rumormonger trying to find out the names of the founders since we teased that 12 companies were on the shortlist. Sorry kids–we made a deal with the devil, a.k.a. Dave Tisch, who promised to give us the full scoop as soon as papers are all signed. You can always crash by Pivotal Labs, where some of the companies have already started working.
KNIGHT TO DISTRICT 14. At last, Peter Thiel has convinced CollegeOnly/YouAre.TV founder Josh Weinstein to move to Silicon Valley. “Peter Thiel loves Josh,” lean start-upper Trevor Owens told us. “They’re both chess grandmasters.” Mr. Thiel was a U.S. Chess Master; Mr. Weinstein was a “nationally-ranked” tournament chess player. Betabeat, sad to see one of the weirdest web products in New York go, pinged Mr. Weinstein to verify the news. “Was going to follow up with you individually so it didn’t make it to Betabeat… yes, I’m moving out to CA,” the founder said. “Leaving next week.” At first, we wondered if Mr. Thiel just wanted to have someone to play chess with. But YouAre.TV just recruited a new CTO, so we guess there are still plans to build a company. Godspeed, Game of Boxes.
Reddit/Hipmunk’s Alexis Ohanian with YouAre.TV’s Josh Weinstein and Ben Mack. Photo: blog.youare.tv
YouAre.TV is the reborn version of CollegeOnly, the social network, video roulette and Facebook alternative for which fresh-faced founder Josh Weinstein raised $1.15 million from Peter Thiel, David Tisch, David Kidder, FirstMark Capital and other funds in the summer of 2010.
College Hype failed to catch on due to a combination of overhype and errors with the product design, so Mr. Weinstein decided to switch tacks. He launched YouAre.TV, technology that enables a frenetic, wacky interactive version of web television, at the New York Tech Meetup. Betabeat rated it “delightful-unmarketable” In its current iteration.
Now the General Assembly-based start-up is looking for a chief technology officer or lead developer to complement the hustle of its young founder.
CollegeOnly, the Facebook for college students that kicks its users out once they graduate, is no more.
The idea had a ton of traction, especially among the generation that started school while Mark Zuckerberg was at Harvard (we really thoughtFacebook would be about college forever). I was at the tech blog ReadWriteWeb at Read More