Hardware is the New Software

Grand St. Reimagines Retail for Personalized Tech: Hardware Has Changed, So Should the Way It’s Sold

Ms. Peyton (Photo: @msg via AmandaPeyton.com)

All that hardware-is-the-new-software talk you’ve been hearing will soon get an equally avant-garde means of distribution, courtesy of a new venture called Grand St. “We are re-thinking online electronics retail for this new era in hardware,” Grand St. cofounder Amanda Peyton, a Y Combinator alum, told Betabeat.

Between the financial model for hardware shifting–with pre-sales on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo or product development through Quirky–not to mention 3D printing and rise of the maker, “The experience of finding and buying new personal technology needs to adapt as well,” Ms. Peyton wrote on her blog yesterday, in an introduction to Grand St. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Fear of Facebook

rumormonger

FACEBOOK FEVER. Facebook is opening an engineering office in New York. “For us this isn’t a satellite office, this is going to be a core part of our engineering stack,” said a company exec today. So how does the still-nascent New York tech scene feel about the arrival of such a giant?

“I mean, Google is freakin’ massive, and they’ve almost had no effect on the community,” Hacker Union head and 10gen engineer Brandon Diamond told us by Gchat. “They’re trying to get out there, but they seem to be awful insular. I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook is the same way… it will probably help more than it hurts. Fb obviously isn’t banking on the ‘tremendous number of hackers living in NYC.’ Instead, I think they believe they’ll be able to woo many new hackers with the added bonus of being in a cool city. It’s a boon.”

As to whether the new office will lure back some of the talent Facebook poached in the form of Drop.io, Hot Potato, Daytum and Mail Rank, but survey says no. “I don’t suspect? Highly doubt it, actually,” says a source, regarding the Hot Potatoes. Read More

Mama I'm Coming Home

Return of the Diaspora: After a Taste of the Valley, New York Techies are Coming Home

(flickr.com/usnationalarchives)

Underlit bars and blaring techno set the scene at the Park Avenue Armory earlier this month, when a who’s who of New York’s tech scene gathered in the cavernous block-length building for the sort of startup event that bore little resemblance to the usual beer, pizza and Powerpoint office gathering. No, this was a fashion show; a nerdy fashion show, to be sure, but one with glamour and theatrics. Raise Cache, a fundraiser for the apprentice developer program HackNY, tapped local tech personalities to walk the runway outfitted in glasses from local e-prescriber Warby Parker, slacks from e-tailor Bonobos and accessories from e-jeweler Bauble Bar. Larger-than-life cartoon avatars lorded over the crowd from the DJ booth as amateur DJs spun tracks using Union Square-based streaming music startup Turntable.fm. Founders and VCs milled about in gowns, coattails, pinstriped vests, glittery tights and cowboy hats. A recording of Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has been pumping his pom-poms for the New York tech scene of late, boomed out at the close of the show: “Now more than ever, [New York] is the place for to be for tech soirees!” Read More

NYTM

New Dawn: What You Missed at New York Tech Meetup

nytm april 2011

Wednesday night’s New York Tech Meetup came in three minutes under the two hour limit, which was amazing considering there were 11 demos, a hack of the month, several announcements and a speech by new managing director Jessica Lawrence on the agenda, interspersed with midi-rendered Weezer songs that the 800 or so audience members mumbled along to under their breaths in the red seats of NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.  Read More