On the heels of a harshly worded blog post earlier this month, ruling that refunds from anyone other than the campaign creator are simply not in the cards, the Kickstarter cofounders are once more clarifying what users can and cannot realistically expect from the platform. This followup reminds everyone that backing a project Read More
How does Google stay dynamic? It’s all about the acquisitions. [The Verge]
Speak of the devil: Google just purchased Instagram challenger Snapseed. [PC Mag]
The Winklevoss twins are giving this social network thing another go, investing in SumZero, ConnectU cofounder Divya Narendra’s new site for investors. We can only assume developers are being vetted very carefully. [Wall Street Journal]
The ludicrous looking Ostrich Pillow is now on Kickstarter. How long before this is yet another standard-issue startup perk? [TNW]
An Iraqi American plans to found a hackerspace in Baghdad, because he is way more hardcore than you. [Wired]
Long Island City is being overrun with “artisanal food businesses and tech start-ups.” [New York Daily News]
Apparently 34 percent of people have used their iPad naked. Naughty! [VentureBeat]
Mad Data Science
DataGotham is currently unfolding downtown at NYU Stern, and around lunchtime, a roundtable gathered for a discussion of what it’s like to be the first data scientist at a company. Panelists included Tumblr’s Adam Laiacano, Kickstarter’s Fred Benenson, and Etsy’s Roberto Medri. The common denominators, according to moderator Hilary Mason? “A love of math, a curiosity, and a lot of stubbornness.”
Much of the discussion revolved around the weediest of data science topics, dwelling on R and SQL and so forth. But the best part was when each of the panelists–at the prompting of Ms. Mason–admitted to something that had gone horribly awry. Not just because everyone loves a good blooper reel, but because they provide a pretty good snapshot of what data scientists actually do.
Everyone–including techie fashionistas and ladies who launch–tends to encounter the same problem when it comes to smartphones: most have a battery life that lasts only slightly longer than a coat of longwear lipstick. But here comes Kickstarter to the rescue! Introducing the Everpurse, a cute little clutch that will charge your phone on-the-go so that you’ll never run out of battery mid-Instagram scroll. Also, it’s super cute.
Dreamed up by a Chicago-based entrepreneur named Elizabeth Day Ormesher Salcedo, the Everpurse includes a special-charging pocket that “guides your phone smoothly onto a dock connector at the bottom.” According to the product’s Kickstarter, it can charge your phone from 0 to 100 percent approximately twice a day. It’s currently only available for the iPhone 4, 4s and 5, though an Android version is said to be on the way.
“This building would be great, but it just has too much…ceiling,” is a thing that some startup office seekers are apparently uttering in the trendier neighborhoods of San Francisco. The Wall Street Journal reports that landlords are straight up wrecking buildings to make them look “edgier,” “funky” and “fun.”
That means lots of exposed ceiling pipes, open floor plans and a kitchen stocked with organic juices and plastered with signs about the upcoming company-wide 5k. Also: a room for people to cry in, when your investors just don’t get it.
A series of stumbles–dead jellyfish, burned sandals, iffy iPod docks–has Kickstarter backers wondering whether there’s any recourse when they bet on projects that just don’t pan on. Their discontent finally bubbled up to NPR, which politely requested some answers yesterday. And so today, the Kickstarter cofounders–Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler, and Charles Adler–took to the company blog to clarify a few things, with a post titled “Accountability on Kickstarter.”
That mason jar desk lamp hasn’t show up? The brainwave-scanning iPhone accessory not working quite right? Concerned that brilliant poet has taken off to Tahiti with your donation? Sorry, Charlie. It’s not Kickstarter’s responsibility to make you whole:
The Final Frontier
Finally a Kickstarter project worthy of a slice of our meager earnings: Yahoo reports that a technology company called the Liftport Group is raising money on the crowdfunding platform to build an elevator that will take you higher than you’ve ever been: all the way to space, suckahs!
On a mild, sun-dappled Sunday, Betabeat applied our sunscreen and ventured to the Long Meadow in Prospect Park for an event aptly named “The Internet Picnic.” A few weeks ago, a friend of ours named Nicole He had won the Listserve lottery and was tasked with sending an email out to 20,000 random Internet strangers. Ms. He works in community at the crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter. “What should I write??” she frantically gChatted us, before eventually deciding to invite all 21,288 subscribers to a picnic yesterday in Brooklyn.
“I have a mole under my eye and I’ll be wearing red,” she wrote, and then posted the same invitation to her Tumblr, where it received almost 300 notes.
Kickstart or Kill
Those of you in the throes of a flash sale addiction might’ve noted a snazzy little pen that popped up on Fab.com yesterday. However, it might have looked a little familiar. The design blog Notcot points out that the Torr Pen, with its distinctive ruler sleeve, looked an awful lot like the Pen Type-A, an overfunded Kickstarter project that’s faced many a manufacturing-related trial over the last year.
Fab, it turns out, did not find this fabulous. The sale has been yanked from the site.
App.net would like feedback on its terms of service. [The Next Web]
Facebook employees are reportedly strongly encouraged to use Android phones, so they’ll take the terribleness of Facebook’s Android app seriously. [Business Insider]
Microsoft has a new, wildly unimpressive logo. [ZDNet]
Tumblr just blew past Myspace. [Marketing Land]
Today’s Kickstarter conversation starter: Full Metal Jacket iPad app. [Wired]