Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!
the startup rundown
This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can follow him at @garysguide and reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.
Want to hang out with former President Bill Clinton? Well of course you do! He will be in town this week to talk about his Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) at the Sustainable Operations Summit.
Funders & Founders are organizing an event called “Love, Sex, and Tech,” an 800-person dating startup show on Apr 19 in San Francisco. Now, whenever one encounters the words love, sex and tech in the same sentence in an event title the obvious next step is to go check them out, right? ;)
Internet Week NY, that annual week-long geek fest celebrating NYC’s thriving internet industry & community, is coming up soon (May 14-21). So hurry up and go grab your Insider / HQ Pass and get ready to party!
Okay, and now let’s see what glorious tech events are happening in the Alley this week…
The Education of NY Tech
2×2^2. April 16 is officially 4sqDay in New York and over a dozen other cities around the country. The fan-created social media holiday’s official celebration will begin at 7 p.m. at The Caulfield. Check out the community blog and RSVP here.
CAPITAL IDEA. General Assembly is bringing back “Assembled Capital,” an all day event dedicated to getting startups funded. The $200 (plus a $4.97 fee) to get in is a bit steep, but breakfast, lunch and booze are totally included! The event will include talks, panels and plenty of elbow-rubbing time with the like of Squarespace’s Anthony Casalena, TechStars NYC’s David Tisch, Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Shane Snow of Contently and many others.
AIRbnFREE. Airbnb is teaming up with Thrillist and sponsoring Tour de Thrillist, a bicoastal race to discover all that LA, Vegas, Austin, Philly and of course NYC have to offer. Up for grabs is a five-destination trip and free Airbnb accommodations. Cross your fingers and enter the sweepstakes here.
Startup, the startup rundown
Back in December, Art.sy’s Daniel Doubrovkine announced he would be teaching a six-week class geared toward developers, assisted by Pivotal Labs’s Dimitri Roche, on the popular, powerful and lightweight scripting language and framework known as Ruby on Rails. The price, $2,800 a student, was on solid middle ground in the range of Ruby class pricing, but some local Rubyists sneered at the high price tag for a language that many learn on their own.
The class, held at General Assembly, filled up immediately anyway. Now that it’s over, Mr. Doubrovkine took some time to reflect. Between lesson planning and grading, he estimated he worked on the class for 117 hours in total. He decided to use the experience to make a case for learning Ruby in the classroom and last week hosted one of the most well-attended NYC.rb meetups to date, called “Crafting a Ruby on Rails Course for Developers,” in which he outlined his methods for creating the curriculum.
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
BLAST FROM THE PAST. Now, thanks to BuzzFeed, you can show all your friends how vintage chic your technology was—before it was cool. Prompted by the fairly recent Facebook timeline, BuzzFeed has introduced a Facebook app that lets users retroactively post images to their timeline. Checkout the “What Was Your First Computer?” question and reminisce about the nineteen eighties like it’s the 2020’s. The launch of this new app is probably just the beginning of a trend we’ll see as Facebook prepares to unveil its new timeline backdating ability.
CLICK CLICK FLASH. Pixable, the photo sharing complement for social networks is rolling out a couple big features. First, is a hashtag feature that allows users to tag their photos or their friends’ photos for an easier experience when recalling and organizing snapshots. #drunkenregrets?
At the same time Pixable is being integrated into the Facebook timeline technology. Users will be able to share their photo viewing and tagging activity in the Facebook ticker just like when listening to tunes on Spotify.
Going South for the Startup
This coming Saturday and Sunday, Aviary and General Assembly are hosting the second installment of their baller photo hackathon, often touted as “the world’s largest photo hack day,” though we’re not sure there’s that much competition. At last year’s event more than 175 developers produced 40+ hacks, a number of which were built using Face.com’s futuristic facial recognition technology.
More than 200 developers have already signed up for the second go-round, officially known as Photo Hack Day 2 (Twitter hashtag #PHD2), so you can expect even more hacked-together photo goodness. Like Aviary’s photo editing suite itself, the emphasis now is on mobile development rather than the web. “Sunday demo tickets completely sold out a full week and a half before the event, so we’re anticipating a good, curious crowd,” said Alex Taub, Aviary’s head of business development and partnerships.
Aviary and GA have already announced an impressive roster of speakers for a fireside chat moderated by Aviary CEO Avi Muchnick, including Tumblr’s David Karp, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, and Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh. But today they’re ready to talk about the good stuff: prize$$$.
Six Canadian startups are headed to General Assembly this month, part of an initiative by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service. The Canadian companies will spend three months inhaling the fumes of Silicon Alley from a pretty perch at General Assembly, thanks to a partnership between General Assembly and the Consulate General of Canada in New York.
the startup rundown
General Assembly is opening a second campus across the street from its current glass-and-wood-panel startup kingdom at 902 Broadway in the Flatiron, Business Insider reports, in a 10,000 square foot space divided into six classrooms and a common area. The new space on the third floor at 915 Broadway—zipline not included, @GA says—will be dedicated to the ever-expanding catalog of business, design, marketing classes and general internet interest classes offered at the Silicon Alley hub. The GA office will also set up a home there.
The Education of NY Tech
GENERAL ASSEMBLY. Besides that $2,800 Ruby class, General Assembly is ramping up its curriculae big time with classes on everything from how to use Twitter to starting up in China. The campus is also hunting for teachers. “Want to teach at General Assembly? Get in touch by completing the form here.”
HIRING. As activity marketplace SideTour prepares to leave the TechStars offices for greener pastures this Friday, the startup has officially started hiring for a lead engineer and “host development manager.” Business Insider is looking for a biz dev intern.
Last week, Art.sy tech lead Daniel Doubrovkine took to the NYC-rb mailing list to advertise a new six-week Ruby course he’s co-teaching at General Assembly. “Forgive me for shameless advertising. I am teaching a RoR for Developers class @ GeneralAssemb.ly in January,” he wrote. Innocuous enough, but some members of the Ruby community took umbrage at the pricetag: $2,800. “Any programmer should be able to learn Rails without paying $2,800,” wrote Rubyist Kfir Shay. “Documentation is excellent, free online resources are plenty, community is strong etc.”
$2,800 sounds high when compared to instructional Ruby Meetups and Skillshare classes in the $0-$50 range. Ruby Nuby is a free collaborative meetup / support group for aspiring Rubyists; local Rubyist and DesignerPages chief product office Avi Flombaum is making a neat little side gig out of teaching a $35 class on Ruby basics on Skillshare; he charges $800 for the five-week version. Free resources like Learn Ruby the Hard Way abound.
Still, the $2,800 General Assembly class, “Rails for Developers,” is already sold out.
Art.sy’s Daniel Doubrovkine and Pivotal Labs’s Dimitri Roche are teaching a six-week class on Ruby on Rails at General Assembly for $2,800. When Mr. Doubrovkine took to the NYC-rb mailing list to advertise, he was surprised by the pushback. “I don’t want to put you down or sound like a jerk but any programmer should be able to learn Rails without paying $2,800,” wrote Rubyist Kfir Shay. “Documentation is excellent, free online resources are plenty, community is strong etc.”