As HBO drums up promotion of the upcoming season of Games of Thrones, the premium cable network is trying a different approach: cozying up with the digerati. (Historically, HBO has greeted the Internet much Night’s Watch would approach a horde of White Walkers.)
Last week, the cabler held elaborate Games of Thrones-themed events in techie hotspots like Silicon Valley and Seattle–home base to Internet giants like Amazon, Google, Netflix prone to disrupting the archaic television distribution process.
40 Sexist Stereotypes It was not a great week for women in tech. Between the Adria Richards fracas and Complex deciding the best way to contribute to the discourse was to throw up a slideshow of the “40 Hottest Women in Tech,” it’s almost as if the takeaway from Sheryl Sandberg’s book was Lean In… with yer boobs. The good news is that in order for the gender disparity in tech to shrink, we need to have conversations like this–even if they turn ugly or mean-spirited or upsetting.
XX in Tech
There are precious few tech events for which Betabeat would agree to wear high heels. But if there was ever a worthy cause, it’s Girls Who Code. Thus between subway transfers, we swapped out our beat-up boots for patent leather and teetered our way around the cobblestone patches outside the New York Stock Exchange for the organization’s startup-studded gala.
The cause for celebration was two-fold. The first was showing off demos from its inaugural class of 20 girls, who represented all five boroughs and some disarmingly ambitious ideas. (We’re still scratching our head at Cora Frederick‘s plan to use data mining and machine learning to classify tumors.) The second was to announce an audacious new goal: to train one million girls in computer science by 2020, starting with a national expansion outside New York City next year.
The nonprofit organization, founded by former deputy public advocate Reshma Saujani and run by former Jumo managing director Kristen Titus, offers teenage girls an eight-week, full-time education in robotics, web design, and mobile development, with mentorship from engineers and executives at Twitter, Google, ZocDoc, Gilt Groupe, and more. In fact, Ms. Saujani noted last night, CEO Dick Costolo volunteered Twitter’s first philanthropic donation to Girls Who Code, although she politely declined to specify the dollar amount.
When Lawyers Send Letters
Remember the good old days, when Craigslist was a granola-crunchy, free-wheeling sort of place, filled with back alley studio sublets and questionable masseuses and sweaty old men with foot fetishes? Ah, those were the times.
But now the little Craigslist that we all love and rely on so much has grown into a corporate overlord, moving to squash a tiny startup focused on continuing to innovate on the local listings concept. Oh Craig Newmark, why hath thou forsaken us?
GigaOm reports that, following Padmapper’s “dickish” decision to continue to include Craigslist apartment listings on its visual mapping tool (despite a cease-and-desist letter), Craigslist is sue Padmapper and its API provider 3Taps. Not exactly an “embrace the free Internet” move there, Craigslist.
So Long Staus Quo
Foursquare’s Naveen Selvadurai, Craiglist’s Craig Newmark, dotcom doyenne Esther Dyson and Nassim “I see black swans” Taleb walked into a Chelsea loft. No, it’s not a lead-up to some joke about how Wall Street is drowning the tech bubble. It was the scene of a dinner party hosted by Takeout, a budding consultancy that sloughs off the dated McKinsey model–train an army of MBAs to travel around the country consulting–for a fresh look more appropriate for the digital age.
Why ask an MBA to tell you how to fix your company when you can hire someone who runs their own? Hey, it could have saved Conde Nast somewhere in the six figures. Just imagine how their troubled iPad editions would look if they’d tapped the brains behind New York’s tech scene to figure out the internet instead.
Takeout, a reference to “taking out” the status quo (and not, say, Seamless deliveries), started in London in 2007, but recently ramped up its efforts in New York. By next month, it expects 75 percent of its business to be based out of its New York office. Microsoft, Gilt Groupe’s Jetsetter, and iVillage are already clients, along with a few other big players that prefer not to be named. But the proof is in the pounds.
It was after work at an East Village bar, and everybody wanted to pitch to Craig Newmark.
The founder of Craigslist, was one of the more famous names at a happy hour thrown by MediaShift, a PBS-affiliated blog. The mixer was the unofficial kick-off for the WE Media Conference with the theme “This Time it’s Personal”.
As Vampire Weekend segued into Iron & Wine, Mr. Newmark spent the evening catching up with people and politely responding to pitches by app-happy entrepreneurs – something he says he has gotten used to.