the world we live in
There’s not much we know about @GSElevator, the anonymous high-brow (bordering on despicable) Twitter account that supposedly shares lurid gossip from Goldman Sachs’ elevators. Since 2011, it has racked up nearly half a million followers for giving normals a glimpse into the high-rolling, glitterati lifestyles of the assholic bankerbros at the vaunted company.
road to ipo
Cornell’s NYC Tech Campus Scores Big Along with his wife, Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs, founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm, announced a $133-million gift to Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Monday to build and establish the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute (JTCII).
buy! buy! buy!
We’re often told that Facebook’s tumultuous initial public offering—not to mention disappointing post-IPO results at social web companies such as Zynga and Groupon—have rejiggered the tech landscape, making investors and founders alike wary of the public markets. And yet, the more things change …
It’s been an eventful year for Facebook stock: From an ill-fated IPO that cost market-makers millions to a share price that plummeted more than 50 percent from its offering price, and most recently, a $5 million settlement between the company’s lead investment bank and a Massachusetts regulator, there’s been hardly a dull Read More
Call the Lawyers
There’s nothing that says a soft-drink maker can’t take a stake in a music streaming service, is there? Good. Because Coca-Cola is investing about $10 million in Spotify, according to The New York Times, as the digital music company closes a $100 million round.
ALL YOUR MEME BELONG TO US
After a 2010 conviction in federal court for “theft of trade secrets,” a year in prison, and the relief of an overturned conviction in February, Reuters reports that former Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov is back in court today. This time, he faces state charges for the alleged theft of the code that underlies the firm’s high-frequency trading system.
Reached for comment, Mr. Aleynikov’s attorney Kevin Marino confirmed that his client is scheduled to be arraigned downtown this afternoon. Mr. Marino told Betabeat:
If there were a more visual element (perhaps a honey badger or LOLcat) attached to the “Why I Left Company X” genre, the meme would already be cresting to the top of BuzzFeed. Former TechCrunch employees may have thought they had the art of the bomb-throwing exit letter on lockdown, but over the last couple days, they’ve been bested by the their more corporate brethren.
Yesterday, Google’s former engineering director James Whittaker accused the once-great innovation lab of devolving into an advertising machine. And today Goldman Sachs former executive director Greg Smith issued the most damning sayonara since Jerry McGuire. He started by decrying the toxic, profit-hungry culture, then revealed Goldman’s pet name for clients (“muppets”), before going on to level charges of widespread “moral bankruptcy.”
Those missives quickly spawned a parody (“Why I Am Leaving the Empire, by Darth Vader“) and a spin-off (Mr. Smith’s former intern at Goldman tried to jump into the fray.) Both “Greg Smith” and “Goldman Sachs” are already trending topics on Twitter.
The startup world—which never shies away from the world-changing rhetoric, even when it’s being used to shill for American Express—couldn’t have dreamed up a better recruiting strategy than Mr. Smith’s 2,500-word explosion of righteous indignation.
Odd Man Out
We thought it would be fun to get off the beaten path for a second and cover a tech company doing stuff outside the consumer web. This morning Brooklyn’s OwnEnergy announced it will develop a large wind farm to power more than 9,000 homes across Pennsylvania.
Like so many interesting tech projects in New York these days, OwnEnergy is the brainchild of a former Wall Street worker. Jacob Susman worked with Goldman Sachs for several years, helping to guide the companies investment in wind energy.
There is a conventional wisdom among web startups building social services for consumers. Build the product first, focus on perfecting it for your users, get as big as possible, then figure out how to monetize. It’s the story behind Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare.
But what if you went about things from the opposite direction. Snap Interactive has their holiday party last night at their offices in the west 30s. There flagship product is Are You Interested, a dating app that began life as one of the first apps on the new Facebook platform back in 2007.
“I won’t lie to you, user experience, design, those have not been our focus. We optimized for revenue and growth. Now we have those thing on cruise control, we can start to work backwards on building a great product.” said Cliff Lerner, Snap’s CEO.
Networked Insights, a startup that helps marketers make media buys by analyzing cues from social networks like Facebook and Twitter, has raised a $20 million round led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management. That’s the same Goldman division that shopped around private shares of Facebook before media attention and government scrutiny forced them to take it back.