Oh you fancy, huh? Turns out doing PR for Tumblr, despite the site’s numerous recent outages, has its advantages. Katherine Barna, who works in communications for the blogging platform, got the chance to meet President Obama and the first lady at the White House, and she has the Christmas-themed snap to prove it. Wonder how many jealous reblogs this pic will spawn?
The storm’s passed and the sun’s up, which means it’s time to take account of the havoc wrought on New York City. That includes the city’s techies, many of whom are currently dealing with power outages, water damage, and inconveniences ranging from the minor to the maddening.
On a basic level, with the subways out Read More
Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!
This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of Gary’s Guide 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.
Last week was all about hacks, hacking and hackathons. But guess what? We aren’t done yet! There’s much more hacking goodness coming your way.
First up, my buddy Greg Gopman is bringing AngelHack back to New York City next month, on November 17. This time, Angelhack is bigger than ever (2,500 hackers across 11 cities). Winners will be put through AngelHack’s six-week Hackcelerator program and flown to Silicon Valley to present to A-list judges like AngelList’s Naval Ravikant, Robert Scoble, and Google Venture’s Wesley Chan, competing for over $650,000 in prizes. So go sign up!
eBay announced on its blog today that it has acquired Svpply, the NYC-based social shopping site that curates personalized collections of clothing and products. Located on Broome Street in Soho, Svpply raised $550,000 in seed funding back in 2010 from investors like Founders Collective, Spark Capital, SV Angel, Dennis Crowley and Jason Hirschhorn. Since then, Svpply has been bootstrapping itself to 620,000 product views per week and 140,000 registered members (as of May).
Last May, founder Ben Pieratt offered a candid perspective on first-time entrepreneurship, admitting his vulnerability. ”I have zero experience or expertise in building a company,” he wrote in a 2011 blog post. “So I’m learning on the fly.”
The Media Elite
Annie Leibovitz’s Silicon Alley photo shoot has finally made its way into print, as part of Vanity Fair’s annual “New Establishment” list. As we’d hoped, the magazine opted to pose Arianna Huffington in the sidecar of David Karp’s vintage motorcycle. (Guest appearance by Mr. Karp’s “French-English bulldog,” Clark.) Only in the version that made the October issue, Dennis Crowley is depicted emerging from a manhole, avec le swag. As before, the annual list is chockablock with tech types, but just like last year, Silicon Valley dominates.
Peter Thiel comes in at no. 37, repping for libertarian utopias between Tyler Perry and Ryan Seacrest. Elon Musk is no. 9 on the list, two rungs higher than Adele, but one spot below a new entrant: Pinterest’s Ben Silberman, no. 8. Despite Square’s caffeine-fueled growth, Jack Dorsey stayed at the no. 5 spot, but finally got the fashion props he’s been waiting for. “It’s a Prada suit; for everyday wear, it’s denim from Scott Morrison’s Earnest Sewn line, which was the first brand to use Twitter.”
Scattered among the elite are a handful of New York techies, present and accounted for. By and large, it’s the same group of people as last October, although it’s interesting to note how Vanity Fair assesses their power ranking, year-over-year.
It’s hard to be heads down when it’s hot out. Exhortations to “just keep shipping” trigger fantasies of sailboats; Friday afternoon happy hours just aren’t as appealing as sangria on a terrace in Spain. Besides–is there any surer sign of a healthy startup sector than tech stars taking lavish vacations?
Oh You Fancy Huh?
Blame Michael Phelps fever for our oversight, but we seem to have missed a milestone in Silicon Alley’s rise to celebrity status. This past weekend, “Breaking Bad” viewers were treated to the visage of Dennis Crowley, staring back at them from a Best Buy commercial. Best Buy released two different thirty second spots starring the Foursquare cofounder, one of which is also running during the Olympics.
Mr. Crowley, the de facto poster boy for New York’s tech scene, doesn’t shy away from the limelight. There was last year’s print ad for Gap (alongside the defoundered Naveen Selvadurai), as well as his upcoming debut in Vanity Fair. ”Have a SAG card yet?,” Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer quipped on Twitter.
It appears New York’s tech scene will finally have its own calling card–a glossy, cinematic affair shot by Annie Leibovitz. The celebrated photographer cordoned off the cobblestone streets of Soho yesterday to direct a photo shoot for an upcoming issue of Vanity Fair.
Let Silicon Valley have its tacky tiger-monkeyblowouts, we’ll take the Conde Nast’s version of Social Register, thank you very much.
Last night, gangs of glammed-out New York techies and science enthusiasts trekked uptown to the Rose Center for Earth and Space to take in a stunningly optimistic program presented by Gizmodo and the American Museum of Natural History. The event was planned and hosted by Gawker Media founder Nick Denton (with the help of Brew PR), who appeared so eager about the “celebration of technology and discovery” that he tweeted about it numerous times prior to the event, published a grandiose blog post on Gizmodo reveling in the glorious achievements of science, and sent out an email to attendees: “This evening should be inspiring and fun,” he wrote.
“I’ve never seen Nick so excited for a social event,” one colleague remarked.
And who could begrudge Mr. Denton his excitement? The event was everything he claimed it would be–and perhaps more, depending on how many free cocktails you indulged in. Hosted by Ellen V. Futter, the president of the American Museum of Natural History, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley and Mr. Denton himself, the gathering was as swank and inspiring as expected.
Shave Me From What I Want
The trouble with producing a wildly successful viral video is that everything you do afterwards is going to pale in comparison–and now the folks at Dollar Shave Club appear to be learning this the hard way.
The Santa Monica-based company sends you “fucking great” razors for a premium of $1-9/month. In startup parlance: It’s like Birchbox, but for razors! The company’s hilarious video went viral in March, and to date it’s netted almost 5 million views. But not everyone is happy with Dollar Shave Club’s customer service, including one of New York’s most celebrated tech founders.