Love in the Time of Algorithms
If there is one universal indicator for determining a good partner, it is not compatibility or intellect or even bangability, it is this: emoji literacy. Unfortunately, endearingly hapless San Francisco startup founder Michael Galpert had to discover this the hard way when he inadvertently ruined a relationship by misusing the thumbs up emoji.
LAME. The evil music labels are considering a lawsuit against Turntable.fm, according to a high-level source on the West Coast, but haven’t decided how to proceed. Meanwhile, Turntable lookalike Rolling.fm is knee deep in lawyers trying to figure out how to keep the service up outside the U.S.
MIXED MESSAGES. A couple weeks ago, Betabeat noticed that Skillshare founder Mike Karnjanaprakorn was out in San Francisco for the launch of Skillshare in that city. Had he picked up some cash while he was out there, we wondered? Skillshare raised $550,000 in January, which was made public in May, so the company certainly could have sustained its five employees on that–especially with MK’s militant lean start-up mindset and the bit of cash it’s getting from the website. So when Mr. Karnj said he hadn’t raised a new round, we said ‘Oh okay.’ But then we kept hearing, over the transom, that Skillshare has raised a fresh round. And they’re trying to fill up their sweet Soho office with a backend developer, community team and founder apprentice. Any insights? Drop us a tip.
Welcome to New Fit City
NEW YORK CITY’S START-UP SCENESTERS were nowhere near the isle of Manhattan when the 4 Hour Body fad hit its tipping point among the local tech set. In fact, according to Rick Webb, co-founder of the Tribeca-based digital agency the Barbarian Group, the digerati diet craze currently upending start-up snack supplies and clogging Twitter feeds with the hashtag #4HB reached comic proportions during the city’s annual pilgrimage to Austin, Texas, back in March.
Mr. Webb traced the outbreak back to the carbo-loading marathon that is South by Southwest. Or “beer and taco week,” as Mr. Webb described it. He and several other techies had recently become disciples of The 4 Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman, a life-hacking manual written by Tim Ferriss that distills a decade of experiments into chapters about slow carbs, self-tracking and, yes, how to make a woman orgasm in 15 minutes.
Welcome to New Fit City
When GroupMe co-founder Steve Martocci threw out his desk chair for a Bosu ball to lose “the founder fifteen,” we had an inkling it was only the beginning. After all, at least some of those early Fitocracy adopters had to be coming from inside the tech scene. Then we found out Michael Galpert–Aviary’s own, personal self-quantifying fiend–was trying to foster (healthy!) competition in the workplace through a shared employee database measuring weight loss down to the pound.
But ff Venture Captial partner David Teten has really gone and done it. He emailed Betabeat to let us know that that ff’s new ergonomically-optimized 5,000 sq. ft. office space on 6th Avenue can basically tell GroupMe’s single Bosu ball can suck it, although not in so many words.
The Financial Times had a fascinating piece this weekend about a new breed of entrepreneurs who are applying the same metrics-obsessed, data-driven approach to optimizing their start-ups to optimizing their bodies. These “self-quantifiers” seem to embody the credo best-satirized by Radiohead on their 1997:
Fitter, happier, more productive/comfortable, not drinking too much/regular exercise at the gym (3 days a week)/getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries/at ease/eating well/(no more microwave dinners and saturated fats)
There is at least one local devotee of the practice: Aviary co-founder and CCO Michael Galpert. In fact, not only is Mr. Galpert self-quantifying, he’s urging Aviary’s employees to quantify as well
This morning AirBnB rolled out a new feature called Social Connections. It draws on Facebook to show users where their friends have stayed and when a location is hosted by someone in their network or one degree removed.
It’s the kind of simple, elegant integration that adds a lot of depth to a service. Sleeping Read More