Apple CEO Tim Cook is preparing for his upcoming Congress appearance about corporate tax code by promising a “dramatic simplification” of the ancient laws. [Washington Post]
It’s been a year since Facebook’s IPO. So let’s celebrate it with a ~one year later~ reflection piece. [WSJ]
Remember when you’re complaining about your long work week, it’s way worse for Foxconn employees. [NYT]
It sounds like the Facebook designers behind News Feed’s redesign were having the chillest of times on the project. They brought in lamps to create a “nice living room” and stared at posters on the wall to keep them motivated. [Taxi]
Ugh, we have some disturbing news: A website that bills itself as “Kickstarter for gigs” has launched in London. [BBC]
Kickstart or Kill
It’s helped celebs like Zach Braff and Kristen Bell pull together the cash for their passion projects, but it looks like the Kickstarter gravy train has finally dumped a famous person right on her ass. Childhood sassiness role model and erstwhile teen witch Melissa Joan Hart’s project has, sadly, failed abysmally.
Ms. Hart wanted to raise $2 million for Darci’s Walk of Shame, about a school teacher who has sex with a waiter while in Thailand for her sister’s wedding (really). She appealed to her fans: “By playing Darci, I will get the chance to once again be in a fun and hilarious Rom-Com much like Drive Me Crazy…only all grown up and having a roll in the hay with the hot actors in the film!”
Whether you really related to it as a tween or couldn’t get over the fact that you find Zach Braff annoying as hell, Garden State, the 2004 indie about feeling lost and listless in your 20s, is one of those films from the early aughts that is hard to forget (for better or worse). Its writer and director, Scrubs star and Reddit fav Zach Braff, hasn’t made another film since then, primarily, he claims, due to financing issues.
Teach Me How to Startup
Yesterday, Y Combinator (Silicon Valley’s ur-accelerator) hosted its biannual Demo Day at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.
As cofounder Paul Graham announced last fall, YC downsized both the number of startups and the size of the investment in this current class. And fears that the accelerator bubble is about to pop were not lost on the 47 startups who presented, nor the 500 or so investors in attendance.
Off the Media
Last week, Coca-Cola put out a study declaring that online buzz has no impact on sales. And of course, that announcement drove everyone on the Internet to start buzzing about it.
AdAge, MediaBistro, Motley Fool, Business Insider and dozens of others all weighed in on Coke’s study, which “finds online buzz has no measurable impact on short-term sales”–driving thousands of tweets, likes and comments between them. (By “weighing in,” I mean they repeated the same few facts derived from the same presentation originally reported by AdAge in its “Buzzkill: Coca-Cola Finds No Sales Lift from Online Chatter” story.)
Angelina “Trash Bags” Pivarnick, the Jersey Shore cast member who left the show in the first season after only three episodes, wants a second chance at the spotlight. On Monday, Ms. Pivarnick launched a Kickstarter page called “The Comeback,” which aims to raise $8,000 to help her get her own reality show called–yes–The Comeback.
With one day left in January, there’s still time for the annual media ritual: celebrating Kickstarter’s crowdfunded contributions to world cinema. NPR has already noted that 10 percent of this year’s Sundance selections raised money through Startupland’s answer to Harvey Weinstein. That’s the same percentage of the Sundance slate Kickstarter helped back in 2012.
Last year, Kickstarter sent 19 films to Park City, four of which picked up awards. This year, 17 Kickstarter-backed films made it to Sundance and took home 5 awards. More importantly, you might actually get a chance to see some, since four films already inked deals.
Rose-Colored Glasses Warby Parker just released its annual report for 2012, and it’s a pretty fun slideshow to click through. The glasses empire now has 113 full-time employes and 42 part-time employees. Of those bespectacled folks, 108 have company-sponsored gym memberships. In other Warby Parker health news, 2,507 pounds of salad were eaten in the office this year. Although there are not too many exact sales figures in the package (besides the fact that 296 monocles were sold this year) a diagram on the last page shows that sales from the first quarter of the year to the last one have nearly tripled. Warby Parker says it gave out 250,000 pairs of glasses this year, some of which went to victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Kickstarted The crowdfunding king released its annual highlights for 2012 this week. And the startups is going about as gangbusters as well, an oversubscribed, blockbuster Kickstarter campaign. In 2012, 2,241,475 people pledged almost $320 million and successfully funded a little over 18,000 projects. That works out to about $606 per minute. Monetization is so much easier when it’s baked into your platform, isn’t it?
Indie No More Kickstarter competitor Indiegogo also released data for 2012. Campaigns raised 20 percent more in last year than they did in 2011 and successful campaigns took an average of 11 days preparing for their launch.
CES is so uncool that it has magically transformed into cool. Cool? [TechCrunch]
Over 2 million people pledged close to $320 million for Kickstarter projects in 2012. [Kickstarter]
Apple is reportedly working on a less expensive iPhone to help reassert its dominance in the smartphone market. [Wall Street Journal]
The average salaries of Silicon Valley will launch you into a fit of despair. You’re welcome. [How to Write a Business Plan]
There’s a mystery complex in Western China and even the CIA analyst who spotted it on Google Earth can’t figure out what it is. [Wired]