Sometimes the hardest question to get a founder to answer is why anyone would regularly use their app. That’s particularly true for startups that solve a problem users don’t actually have.
But often, the pitch for why X app is better at rating, or recommendations, or social planning relies on the assumption that it will be populated by users just dying to share their personal tastes or make plans . . . using an app that’s on screen four of their smartphone, right next to Draw Something.
That’s been the problem with Stamped, a remarkably sleek ratings and recommendations app launched by Xooglers last November that allows users to give their “stamp” of approval to books, songs, restaurant recommendations, you name it.
Airtime, the Sean & Shawn bred startup that launched earlier this week, has slowly grown on us. Our initial reaction was in line with the majority of the Internet’s: “Okay, it’s Chatroulette without penises.” But the more we’ve used the service, the more its benefits for networking, flirting and stymying boredom have revealed themselves.
But the thing is, since the site hasn’t really hit critical mass yet, you tend to run into the same types of people over and over again. They’re almost always very nice, but in our experience, they also almost always fall into one of the below five categories.
Never Say Never
Every teen pop star eventually reaches a fork in the road, around the time of his/or her eighteenth birthday, when things must change. Is it time for more emotionally mature musical stylings? Perhaps a venture into feature filmmaking? Maybe it’s the time for a few years of college? Then there’s always the classic drug-fueled descent into the gutter and/or rehab and/or obscurity.
Obviously, the adults in Justin Bieber’s life would prefer to avoid the latter. And since Drew Magery making a man out of him was out of the question, manager Scott “Scooter” Braun has another idea: venture capital.
Are you big on the Internet? Klout, the online influence measurement system, helps you determine just that. “We measure your influence based on your ability to drive action in social networks,” explains the Klout page. But aside from providing you with an over-inflated sense of self-importance, Klout also mines your Twitter page for popular terms, and determines a list of topics you’re especially influential about. This reporter, for example, is influential about blogging and cats, which is pretty much dead on.
Teen heartbreaker Justin Bieber will be on hand at the Consumer Electronic Show from 1 to 3 p.m. on January 11th, pimping out some robots. Specifically: a BRAND NEW ENTERTAINMENT ROBOT by Vietnamese electronics maker TOSY Robotics, to be unveiled at the show.
“TOSY Robotics produces 4 types of products: Gigantic robots, Service robots, Industrial robots and High-tech toys,” Robonexus reports breathlessly. There is also a tiny robot. TOSY robots can play ping pong and bartend.
For a grown ass billionaire, Sean Parker sure has a lot of people worrying about whether he gets enough sleep. In David Kirkpatrick’s profile of Mr. Parker in Vanity Fair last year, much was made of the line, “He routinely stays up very, very late, talking intensely about subjects he cares about and/or partying—and sleeps in much of the following day.” That was followed by a comment from Ron Conway calling Mr. Parker “so scattered yet so brilliant.”
Now, in the upcoming issue of Page Six magazine, the New York Post reports that Mr. Parker’s friend Scooter Braun is also wondering about his pal’s sleeping schedule and how it may effect his state of mind. And the 30-year-old talent agent, who manages Justin Bieber, should know from distractions.
Some protesters on Wall Street are chagrined to see that the protest, following an explosion of media coverage, still isn’t trending on Twitter. On Wednesday, “Foley Square”–the meeting place for the megamarch planned with students and labor unions–made it into the top ten trends in New York. “Truly, @twitter. Foley Square is trending but #occupywallstreet never has? #occupytwitter,” one user wrote.
But even “Foley Square” was quickly supplanted by terms related to the death of Steve Jobs. As one blogger representative of the Twitter censorchip theory wrote, “TrendsMap Proves Scary Twitter Censorship Of #OccupyWallStreet From Trending Topics.” And as Young Manhattanite Andrew Krucoff points out, JP Morgan Chase is an investor in Twitter.