Expert Thoughts

If You Build It They Won’t Come: What’s Wrong With Tech’s Magical Thinking

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There’s a lot in this world we don’t know. You could get hit by a flaming toilet seat from outer space tomorrow and die. You don’t know. The future is one of those things we don’t know. So if you and I can agree that we don’t know what the future holds, why do so many of us in the world of tech believe the myth of, “If you build it, they will come” and not Walt Disney’s far superior, “If you dream it, you can do it”?

Fact: You could have the best idea ever and nobody may ever know. And that lack of awareness has nothing to do with competition. That’s just an excuse. And there are a million excuses. You know what the biggest product produced by tech companies is? Excuses.  Blame the developers. Blame the PR firm. Blame the intern. Read More

Planet Reddit

Neckbeard Support Group Thrives on Reddit Front Page

The South Park episode that changed one former neckbeard's life. (Screengrab: YouTube)

Redditor thewriter_anonymous posed two simple questions yesterday to the Reddit community: “Ex-neckbeards of reddit, when did you realize you were one of “those” guys? Any cringeworthy stories you’d like to share?”

For clarification, he also posted an Urban Dictionary definition of “neckbeard” — “a talkative, self-important nerdy man who, through an inability to properly decode social cues, mistakes others’ strained tolerance of his blather for evidence of his own charm.” Read More

Planet Reddit

This Woman Got Paid To Snuggle Sad Old Divorced Men

KonekoPeach, former professional snuggler. (Imgur)

Reddit AMAs are incredible educational tools. They’ve taught us what it’s like to have two dicks; proved to us that Canadian stereotypes are all true; even illuminated Lil’ John’s fascinating opinions of snowboarding. And now, we finally know what it’s like to be a professional snuggler.

Yes, you’re reading that right: redditor KonekoPeach was not a professional smuggler, but a professional snuggler — as in, a person paid to crawl into bed with and wrap their arms around a lonely stranger for hours at a time, as she explained in an AMA yesterday.

She worked for a company called The Snuggle Buddies, which claims to be strictly non-sexual and charges anywhere from $60 for an hour-long snuggle sesh to $400 for a ten-hour overnight extravaganza. KonekoPeach seems to have generally enjoyed the experience, though she quit when she began to sense the whole thing was just maaaaybe a little sketchy and unsafe. Read More

All the jobs

Getting A Tech Job: Advice From Brooklyn’s Startup All-Stars

(via Makerbot Industries, CC-BY-2.0)

Advice for young techies and entrepreneurs is often cliche and abundant: ‘start something’; ‘fail early and often’; ‘don’t rely too much on your degree’. But when you hear it from the top tech leaders in New York City, it’s enough to make you stop and listen.

This morning in DUMBO, Brooklyn Tech Triangle kicked off Tech Triangle U, a series of talks, “speed dating” sessions, and hackathons to connect soon-to-be college graduates with the tech scene in Brooklyn. For the opening keynote, Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC’s New Tech City, asked Brooklyn’s top names in tech about what they consider when hiring. Read More

Reddit All-Stars

Man Helps Fellow Redditor Find His Missing Mother

A photo joshgoldberg89 posted of his mother, May. (Imgur)

The Reddit community has really been impressing us this week. First, it managed to give a baby a really nice name. And now, it’s helped a man locate his missing mother.

Yesterday, redditor joshgoldberg89 posted on the site that his 59-year-old mother, who suffers from severe dementia, had gone missing in NYC. He had contacted the NYPD and several missing persons organizations, and was putting up fliers in surrounding areas, but he also hoped the People of the Internet might be able to help him in his desperate search: Read More

In Loco Parentis

Couple Asks Reddit To Name Daughter, Reddit Does Surprisingly Great Job

Ah, the joy of not being named "Salad." (Wikimedia Commons)

Earlier this year, we reported on the possibly-insane husband and wife that asked the Internet — Redditors, in particularto vote on a name for their unborn daughter.

The husband set up Namemydaughter.com, and invited People of the Internet to submit and vote on ideas for baby names. With names like “Cthulu All-Spark,” “Ixtley” and “Slagathor” topping the list, we were seriously worried for a while about this poor, un-named baby’s future. Read More

LOLOL

Hello M’Lady: Hilarious Amy Schumer Video Skewers ‘Friendzoned’ Guys

"You can't win. But the app does send you a warning text when he angrily turns on you." (Screengrab via YouTube.)

Reddit functions as many things — a cradle for Internet memes, a hub for horrifying tales of bodily functions, a much-needed platform for Lil Jon.

But one of the most nefarious ways Reddit has influenced our culture is by providing a platform for men who believe they’ve been “friendzoned.”

What is the friendzone? It’s a pretend place that exists only in the imaginations of oft-rejected heterosexual men — and on a popular subreddit. Read More

New Deal

Imgur Gets $40 Million Investment From Andreessen Horowitz

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One of tech’s most prolific venture capital firms, Andreessen Horowitz (or “A16Z”), has invested a sizable $40 million in image sharing giant Imgur, Betabeat has learned.

Imgur has been the subject of acquisition rumors for the past year, but has never taken outside money, regardless of how successful they’ve been. According to Imgur CEO and founder Alan Schaaf, Imgur has been approached by almost every VC on the map in the past five years.

“We’ve always been fighting them off,” Mr. Schaaf told Betabeat, “and the reason is because we never really found a good fit.” Read More