He Said He Said

Hipster Spectacle! Possible Warby Parker Knockoff Accuses Warby Parker of (Possibly) Scaring off Investors

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Yesterday a Williamsburg-based startup called Classic Specs posted what looked like a rather damning open letter accusing one of its competitors of attempting to tamper with investors. “We’ve been having a number of great meetings with advisors and potential investors lately,” Classic Specs cofounder Andrew Lipovsky wrote. “That’s why we were surprised to hear that someone was telling them, ‘hey..make sure you know the full story behind Classic Specs (wink).’”

Who would want to spread rumors about Classic Specs, which sells its stylish glasses at Brooklyn Flea and donates a portion of its proceeds to charity? “Our sales keep growing because we have a great product that people love (and that we hand deliver if you’re nearby) and because we have a very attractive dog as a mascot,” Mr. Lipovsky wrote in the stirring letter, which embedded a picture of said pooch.

Mr. Lipovsky suspects that the rumormonger is Warby Parker: the eyeglasses e-vendor, investor darling and customer sensation, that also happens to be based in New York. Why? Because the much-larger Warby had tried to shut Classic down before, he alleged.

The story seemed to have it all: copycats, unfair competition, and underdogs, and it shot up to the top of Hacker News yesterday afternoon, garnering at last count 169 points and 71 comments. “Hipster fight,” wrote one commenter. “This whole thing makes me so glad I got LASIK a few years ago,” said another.

But what, exactly, is the beef?

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Social Media Family Feud

Foursquare Mocks Facebook’s Latest Attempt To Copy Twitter

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Facebook has a long history of borrowing features from its competitors. (What? All the cool tech giant CEOs are doing it.) It adapted the “Like” button from Tumblr, for example. But for its latest act of imitation, it went back to the well: Twitter. The same source from whence Mark Zuckerberg drew the news feed, the “What’s on your mind?” status bar, and the @reply button. All of which improved the service. However, the newest Twitter-inspired upgrade called “happening now”  is confusing at best. As you can see from this screenshot, the feature, which is still being tested looks essentially like a Twitter feed of your Facebook feed…  right next to your Facebook feed. Read More