Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!
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 reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.
You know what’s cool? A billion dollars, that’s what! Huge congrats to David Karp and the folks at Tumblr. Billion-dollar exits form the cornerstone of a thriving tech ecosystem, and this is great news for New York tech.
It’s finally here! Internet Week, that is. 45,000 people are expected to attend over 400 parties with keynotes by Randi Zuckerberg, Jonah Peretti (BuzzFeed), Joe Gebbia (Airbnb) and Joan Rivers!
The hottest party during Internet Week? That would, of course, be the Webutante Ball (a.k.a. the REAL #nerdprom!) And lucky for you, I have two FREE passes to give away. Interested? Of course you are! Apply here.
The Webutante Ball, Internet Week’s “nerd prom” that people attend because they feel they have to, is swiftly approaching. Held at Marquee on May 23rd, the event attracts startup glitterati, media titans and various riffraff from The Scratcher.
The Chat-rooming Classes Today, seemingly every tech reporter in the business tuned into Jason Calacanis‘s “This Week in Startups,” presumably in the hopes that Mr. Calacanis would tell all re: the allegations of abuse against Michael Arrington. But as familiar names chattered away in the chat room, Mr. Calacanis had little to say beyond comparing himself to Obi Wan. That would make Mr. Arrington Anakin Skywalker, of course; Mr. Calacanis said he taught him how to be powerful in media, and “I regret that.”
As for the allegations themselves, Mr. Calacanis was quick to say he wouldn’t be commenting on whether they were true, citing his lack of direct knowledge. (He did, however, openly discuss the time that Mr. Arrington called a PR honcho “the c-word,”
thereby outing someone who’d never mentioned the incident publicly!) [Correction: Mr. Calacanis first mentioned the incident and the PR exec (Brooke Hammerling) by name in the comments of his Facebook post, prompting Ms. Hammerling to confirm the story, also in a Facebook comment.] All in all, it sounds like he (kinda sorta) regrets getting involved. He apparently thought writing a Facebook note wouldn’t go very far. “I thought that that would be a place where it just lived there,” he said. (Paging Randi Zuckerberg!) “I got a little P.T. Barnum in me and I feel like me commenting on all this stuff actually detracts from it,” he added.
VICE cofounder Shane Smith took the main stage at Internet Week today and demonstrated that although he was about to deliver a political rant, he is still edgy. “I came up with this script when I was drunk on a plane coming back from Pakistan, and I had taken a pill,” he said. “So it’s not going to be as smooth as we like, but it’s going to be fantastic.”
XX in Tech
The scene outside Marquee, a 700-some capacity club on 10th Ave. and 26th, was dramatic. Three fire engines wailed, police cars pulling up behind them, beside a long line of well-heeled public relations professionals that snaked around the block. A middle-aged man carrying a brown sack was getting into it with the bouncer. “I was invited, and this asshole…” Never attempt to gain leverage with one bouncer by berating the bouncer next to him. He will never take your side. “Who do you think you fuckin’ are?” the guest asked, before he turned and performed a pissy walk north.
Made in NYC
The rain was really starting to come down hard, but the female CEOs at Internet Week appeared undaunted by the passing storm. Birchbox’s Hayley Barna, Learnvest’s Alexa von Tobel, Nest.io’s Caren Maio, Mashable’s Sharon Feder and Artspace’s Catherine Levene joined CNNMoney reporter Laurie Segall for a discussion about gender in tech.
The panel was entitled “Why Being a Good CEO Has Nothing to Do with Being a Woman,” but it was clear from the first question that the women on this panel were more concerned with talking about their businesses than how being a woman has hindered their growth in the tech sector. And who can blame them? After all, the panel was specifically about how gender had nothing to do with their success–though almost all of the questions revolved around their experience as women in a male-dominated world.
It was sticky and rainy outside, but scores of people showed up to see Mayor Bloomberg shake his tech pom-poms today at Internet Week HQ. The Mayor trudged to 82 Mercer to announce a new initiative alongside chief digital officer Rachel Sterne, NYCEDC president Seth Pinsky and–surprisingly–Josh Miller, the cofounder of Branch.
So what exactly did Mr. Mayor have up his sleeve? Turns out it was a new interactive map that displays the locations of tech companies around New York City. A sidebar also displays which of these companies are currently hiring.
the startup rundown
Unless you’ve gone off the grid, you probably already know that Internet Week 2012 launches on Monday. But with a dizzying number of events to attend, it’s hard to figure out which ones are worth the time, effort and subway fare. Betabeat guest blogger Gary Sharma, something of an events truffle hound, already penned his personal list of recommendations. But consider this Betabeat’s official to-do list: blogger tested, Betabeat approved.
LAWGIC. Today 2tor is partnering with Washington University to put their Master of Laws degree online. 2tor’s previous partnerships with USC, UNC and Georgetown have put high-end higher education online with programs in social work, business and nursing. The Washington University partnership is specifically aimed at removing a hurdle for international students who want to study U.S. law. Read More
Not content with a mere week to bestow its fairy booster dust on the tech set, Internet Week New York just announced it will be hosting a recurring networking event “for the New York City internet community” called Websdays. Despite the awkward-sounding reference to a day of the week (not to mention the fact that the company backing it has “Week” in its name), Websdays will be a monthly shindig, with the first one taking place on July 27th at 200 Orchard.
The event, produced in conjunction with Webutante Ball’s Richard Blakely (unlike Seamless, some people apparently see nothing wrong with keeping “Web” in their name), will only be open to a limited number of guests per month.