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]
Kickstart or Kill
Still waiting around for some sort of weird tchotchke you backed months ago on Kickstarter? Well, at least you’ve got company. In a big, expansive package released today, CNN Money crunched the numbers and found that of the 50 most-funded projects in the platform’s history, 84 percent were late. A mere eight were delivered on time.
Youch. And how much sympathy does cofounder Yancy Strickler have for your discontent? Well, here’s what he told CNN Money:
XXX in Tech
Back in August, we told you about Offbeatr, which aims to be the Kickstarter for porn. Four months in, the site boasts five successful projects, which have raised a total of $60,934. And as the blog Flayrah recently noticed, all of them are furry-themed.
Space the Final Frontier
Yesterday, before venturing forth to the casting call for Bravo’s Start-ups: Silicon Valley spinoff, we made a rather wonkier stop, at this month’s meeting of the MIT Enterprise Forum. The topic of the panel? Space, the final frontier, and aerospace investing in particular.
As we arrived, a brief SpaceX video with a Top Gun-style soundtrack was wrapping up. Adam Harris, the company’s VP for Government Affairs, let slip a little, “Yay!” as it came to a close.
The ratings on Foursquare Explore are now powered not simply by randos assigning stars, but rather a number of factors like checkins and tips. [Foursquare Blog]
At GigaOm’s RoadMap conference, Kickstarter cofounder Perry Chen dropped a little knowledge on the crowd: Last year, $3 million went to gaming projects. This year, the sum is 20 times as high. [Twitter]
Washington wants to strengthen privacy protections for the kiddos, but Silicon Valley swears up and down the new rules are so bothersome it might make it impossible to even bother developing for children. That would be terrible, because then they might have to spend some time outside, God forbid. [New York Times]
Everyone’s just a touch nervous about the prospect of New Jersey’s vote-by-email scheme. [Computer World]
Tumblr now clocks in at 20 billion monthly pageviews. Whew. It’s also basically a ceaseless river of content, with 77 million posts every day on 79 million blogs. (Though presumably many of those are reblogging the same five pinup pics again and again.) [Daily Dot]
With mass transit closed and dangerous storm surges set to wallop the city, New York startups aren’t messing around when it comes to hurricane prep. Most, like Usablenet, Kickstarter, HowAboutWe and SideTour, are urging employees to work from home due to the closure of the MTA system.
“We have a simple rule of thumb that if the subways are shut down, the office is closed and people can work from home,” Onswipe CEO Jason Baptiste told Betabeat over email. “A few of us are actually crashing here over the weekend – myself and a few engineers. We built the place to be like a home, so it’s a great place to be stuck for a few days .”
“For those that are staying here, we have ample food, beverage, and entertainment. More iPads than flashlights,” he added.
Hey, we’re sure there’s a flashlight app.
There are some lookers spread across the board in New York’s tech scene, but no one holds a candle to the collective attractiveness of the Kickstarter team. Seriously, their staff is a little too beautiful, like the shirt folders of the local Abercrombie in our high school days.
Luckily, we can now gaze at them all day long on the site’s new team page. They’ve bucked the trend of posing together like a picture day elementary school class and have instead gone with a looping scrollable video gallery. It’s like taking a ride through Disney World’s Hall of Presidents, as styled by American Apparel.
Kickstarter announced today that the U.K. version of its crowdfunding platform would launch on Wednesday, October 31st. A very spooky day for a launch–or perhaps it’s just an excuse to dress up like the king and queen of England? Starting today, starving film students and wacky designers who live overseas can start registering their projects and get them approved, so that they can be ready to launch on the 31st.
To go along with the international expansion, the site also just added a streamlined international shipping option for both US and UK projects. The update makes it clear to international backers when the creator is asking for more money to cover the cost of international shipping.