Play Your Video Games
If there was one salient lesson gleaned from the two-hour, day-glo sex romp that was Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, it was this: just pretend that life’s a video game. As it turns out, Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley maintains the same mantra. At the Twofixsix conference in Brooklyn, presented by gaming magazine Kill Screen, Mr. Crowley told the crowd that his success in tech largely hinges on his love of video games.
Leaning Out of Tumblr Jessica Bennett, the Tumblr employee who was laid off with the shuttering of Storyboard, announced today on Twitter that she’s taken a job with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. “Turns out being fired ain’t that bad,” she tweeted, along with a link to a Facebook post by Ms. Sandberg herself announcing Ms. Bennett’s hiring:
“So excited to welcome Jessica Bennett to the Lean In team! Jessica is joining us to run Editorial – helping us connect women all over the world with their passion for leaning in! Special thanks to Nell Scovell and Rachel Sklar for introducing us to Jessica!”
How much leaning in was required to land that job?
This week is the New York edition of TechCrunch Disrupt, which means it’s time for the annual friendly grilling of Silicon Alley personalities. Taking his turn in the hot seat this morning: Fuelband-brandishing Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley.
This year’s conference takes place in the least startup-y of neighborhoods: right next door to Penn Station, in the Hammerstein Ballroom. It’s covered in faux rococo detailing, and the carpet has seen better days, possibly during the Ford administration, and don’t even try sitting down on the stairs to make a phone call because you will be bounced.
So it was in incongruous surroundings that @dens tackled a no-fun question: Where did all the adulation go?
Earlier this afternoon, two huge explosions ripped through downtown Boston near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, injuring spectators and athletes alike. It’s still very unclear what’s going on, but there’s a familiar face reporting in from the scene. Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley was running the marathon today–you might have seen his automatic check-ins from every milepost, interspersed with the occasional mid-stride misspelled tweet.
But the auto-updates suddenly stopped. After reassuring everyone he was fine, Mr. Crowley began tweeting dispatches from the middle of the race:
Everyone, it seems, has an opinion about Foursquare, the New York-based check-in and recommendations app that was the breakout darling of SXSW 2009.
Former Square COO Keith Rabois recently engaged in a very public dustup with Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley on Twitter, tweeting that only a “Hail Mary Bebo-style acquisition will bail you out.” In January, data and research company PrivCo predicted that the startup will fail by the end of the year, eventually surrendering to an acquisition price of no more than $50 million (though the analysis didn’t account for mobile traffic). In November of last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that investors were “cooling” on Foursquare. “The company claims more than 25 million registered users, but only about 8 million of them use the app at least once a month,” it wrote.
Do high-powered tech types have any idea of the right way to spend a weekend? Apparently not: When VC and former Square COO Keith Rabois made a critical, slightly snide remark about how Foursquare is faring, he ignited a two-day-long tussle over when it’s okay to criticize a founder.
I swear, sometimes you’d think we Read More
Front Page Printed Pages of the Internet Just before taking stage at SXSW to talk his crowdfunded Internet 2012 tour, Alexis Ohanian emailed out a link to his new book, Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed.
Since you asked, Mr. Ohanian, we dig the cover, but “without their permission,” sounds a little iffy in the context of Reddit’s Creepshot scandal, no?
Silicon Alley is awfully fond of putting “proximity to other industries” in its plus column. As the line goes: We’re down the street from the top media, financial, and fashion companies in the world! Despite being neighbors, however, fashion and tech have had some trouble understanding each other–hence the growing number of fashion startups that have hung up their stilettos for good.
Into all that drama jumped Decoded Fashion with an exceedingly practical idea: a fashion hackathon where industry insiders tell techies what’s actually lacking in the market. In other words, rather than the umpteenth street style photo-sharing apps, how about the next Fashion GPS, a digital tracker for samples and look books used by designers like Lanvin, Dior and many, many more.
There’s rarely been a shortage of speculation on the future of Foursquare, the New York startup everyone loves and nobody knows how to monetize. Just last month, a story in The Wall Street Journal and had us wondering whether Apple might kick the tires on Dennis Crowley’s company as a way to buttress its iOS Maps.
You get an iPad! And you get an iPad! BuzzFeed cofounder Jonah Peretti has certainly been in the celebrating mood this week (and for good reason). Emily Fleischaker, editor of BuzzFeed’s Food vertical, tweeted that Mr. Peretti handed out iPad Minis to the whole staff for meeting their traffic goal. (Paging the Betabeat boss!)
BuzzFeed also Instagrammed a photo of Mr. Peretti donning said shirt and drinking what appears to be a beer. YOLO, we suppose.