Visiting Dignitaries

Alicia Keys Shrugs off Scheduling Snafus to Talk About Her New Storybook App for Children

(Photo: twitter.com)

Alicia Keys was having a pretty annoying Wednesday afternoon. Right before Betabeat was set to talk to Ms. Keys, she ran off to the bathroom, seemingly to escape  the incessant schedule changes a Flatiron PR firm kept throwing at her. The company had set up a series of interviews with the R&B songstress to promote her new iPad and iPhone app, The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee, but the junket wasn’t proceeding quite as planned.

The app is storybook adventure, filled with interactive narratives, piano playing and journal writing–fit for any kid with a little creative flair, or what we imagine Ms. Keys must have been like as a little girl. Read More

Yikes

The Hipstamatic Saga Makes Us Wonder Why Designers and Developers Can’t be Friends [UPDATED]

Ye olde troubled waters. (Photo: flickr.com/brokentrinkets)

Fast Company decided it was time to check in on the Hipstamatic guys. How’ve things been since the Instagram acquisition made them look like the losers in the photo app head-to-head? Well, no one expected everything would be happiness and fun times. But the picture that emerges in the second installment of a three-part series on the company sounds a lot like Lord of the Flies set in Silicon Valley. 

In the very first line, CEO Lucas Buick admits that, in the last year, the company has lost focus. Twitter expressed interest in an acquisition, sources say, but the idea wasn’t taken too seriously. Attempts to transition to social have been rocky.

But it sounds like matters haven’t been helped by a cultural rift within the company. Outlined in painful detail is a gulf between the founders and the developers the employees (many of them developers) hired once the company was up and running: Read More