Earlier this afternoon, Gawker republished photos and a video of AlphaBoost CEO Matt Monahan drunk and naked during a vacation to India. The escapades were originally shared by Jesse Thomas founder of JESS3, a social media advertising firm.
Venture-backed startup founders are fond of booze-soaked jaunts to unwind from the pressure of crushing it, celebrating a big milestone, or just because they can afford to. The difference here is that Mr. Thomas graduated from ill-advised Instagram shots of popping bottles to sharing a video and photos of a stark naked Mr. Monahan cavorting on the beach, somewhere approaching blackout drunk.
And that Mr. Monahan got caught on tape at the same time that he’s trying to sell his company.
It’s never too early to start speculating about the next election cycle. So we’re calling it, less than a month into the new year: 2013 will be New York tech’s debut as a political force.
Tech moguls and politicians have always been willing bedfellows, of course. Last year, technophiles in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area outpaced “Hollywood celebrities and Wall Street moguls” in funding President Obama’s reelection campaign, according to a report from MapLight.com. On the other side of the aisle–like far, far to the right–Facebook investor Peter Thiel “almost single-handedly” funded Ron Paul’s super PAC. After his fringe candidate dropped out of the race, Mr. Thiel donated $1 million to Club for Growth Action, a Tea Party super PAC.
Sundancing in the Dark South by Southwest is basically right around the corner, but it seems several techies needed a break before March offers the excuse for a tax-deductible trip to Austin. Investor Scooter Braun is be there (for obvious reasons), as is VHX cofounder Casey Pugh, ABC News’s Maya Baratz, onetime Myspace prez Jason Hirschhorn, and Thrillist cofounder Ben Lerer. Judging from Mr. Lerer’s Instagram, Gary Vaynerchuk is also along for the ride.
Startups are taking advantage of the festival’s halo of hipness. The creatives at Kickstarter have devoted a page to Sundance entrants funded on the platform, and cofounder Yancey Strickler says he’ll be in attendance. Uber will be there–and handing out hot chocolate. “All you have to do is tap the Uber app and we will come wherever you are to deliver sweet salvation from the epic cold,” the company promises. Not to mention helping sooth the pain of Uber’s high fares.
Some bad news for New York’s best big mouth, it appears that Wine Library, Gary Vaynerchuk’s online store, has been hacked. The site sent an email out to customers yesterday, as first reported by Alexia Tsotsis, which gave them a rundown on the timeline of the attacks.
When we began hearing from a few customers about possible fraudulent credit card charges in the middle of October, we launched an investigation. At that time, we did not know a data breach had occurred. However, as the number of these concerns increased in early November, we removed all credit card data from our site on November 11th since it became clearer that, although we couldn’t find a breach, something was going on. Last week we confirmed that an IP address from China was used to hack our website and potentially compromised customer credit card information. As far as we can tell, this did not affect any in store transactions.
The company makes it clear that this is the first time in its 15 years on the web that it has experienced something like this, and that it is taking big steps to ensure it never happens again. In fact, according to the email, the company will no longer store any customer credit card data.
Local oenophile, investor and The Daily contributor Gary Vaynerchuk announced today he’s retiring after five and a half years of producing “the most! passionate! wine program!” on the internet and the one that launched his career as an author and social media expert.
“It was never in the cards for me to spend my entire career being a ‘wine critic,’” he said, marking the title with air quotes. “But wine will always be a massive part of my life … will I come out with a wine brand one day? Maybe.”
The man behind the fast growing and recently funded coder community, Forrst, has decided to create the web’s version of the island castaway question.
Instead of being stuck on a remote spit of land with just five books, Kyle Bragger has created a simple web app, My Five, that asks users to pick the five people on Twitter they would follow if that was all they could have.
Gary Vaynerchuk dissed 99.5 percent of “social media experts” in a TechCrunchTV interview last week, so of course TechCrunch ran the quote in the post’s headline. The statement got some blowback on TechCrunch and Twitter, where the readership overlaps with professionals who call themselves social media experts (and are clowns).
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Gary Vaynerchuk will contribute to The Daily for a video feature called “The Next Wave.” It’s not about wine; it’s about Twitter!
“Beginning this week, best-selling author and radio host, Gary Vaynerchuk, will be an on-camera contributor for The Daily. In this role, he will offer analysis on the latest developments in business, technology and social media trends,” the iPad app announced today.