Earlier this afternoon, Gawker republished photos and a video of AlphaBoost CEO Matt Monahan drunk and naked during a vacation to India. The escapades were originally shared by Jesse Thomas founder of JESS3, a social media advertising firm.
Venture-backed startup founders are fond of booze-soaked jaunts to unwind from the pressure of crushing it, celebrating a big milestone, or just because they can afford to. The difference here is that Mr. Thomas graduated from ill-advised Instagram shots of popping bottles to sharing a video and photos of a stark naked Mr. Monahan cavorting on the beach, somewhere approaching blackout drunk.
And that Mr. Monahan got caught on tape at the same time that he’s trying to sell his company.
Ben Lerer, his father Ken Lerer, and About.com/AdKeeper’s Scott Kurnit were interviewed this morning at the Paley Center for Media to talk Thrillist, JackThreads, Huffington Post and investing philosophy. There was some quibbling over semantics: were their companies media companies, or tech startups? It’s hard to tell these days!
Smaller Than Twitter
Somehow this passed us by: AdKeeper, the startup from About.com’s Scott Kurnit attempting to create a “like” button for online ads, announced a pivot a few weeks ago. In a Nov. 21 blog post titled, “Another View of AdKeeper,” Mr. Kurnit explained that the site will be relaunching at Keep.com with “a unique offering that serves the AdKeeper mission in new and exciting ways,” but did not explain the specifics.
The original idea, which earned Mr. Kurnit $43 million from investors including Spark Capital,
First Round Capital, Lerer Ventures, The New York Times and betaworks, was to create a network across the internet that would place a “keep” button on ads and allow users to store those ads for later. The company reportedly had a $100 million valuation. “The fact is, 90 percent of people have torn an ad from a magazine,” Mr. Kurnit wrote in an op-ed at All Things Digital.
Playing for Keeps
Let’s just trademark all the four-letter words, shall we? At the end of September, New York-based AdKeeper sent a cease and desist letter to New York-based KeepIdeas, which owns a website called KeepRecipes. AdKeeper serves up a tiny blue-and-white ‘k’ on online ads so that users can file the advertisement away in the cloud in a little digital Keeper, while KeepRecipes serves up a little orange-and-black ‘k’ on recipes online so that cooks can save them for later. “Plainly, your company has chosen a name confusingly similar to the AdKeeper Marks in order to take advantage of the brand equity that AdKeeper has developed for virtually similar services,” AdKeeper says in its reads the cease and desist letter.
AdKeeper, the very well-funded New York startup from About.com’s Scott Kurnit, aims to better the banner ad. The idea is that people will clip ads like coupons, save ads like YouTube videos to watch later, and so on, thus generating “engagement” and perhaps “ROI” and also creating jobs for the creatives from firms like Wieden + Kennedy who can be set loose to make keepable ads. But today we saw something that made us question whether we had AdKeeper all wrong: a poster ad in Union Square. For AdKeeper. With a QR code. So you can … keep it. What?
A new survey from New York-based AdKeeper (Scott Kurnit of About.com) and 247realmedia.com reports that the primary reason people don’t click banner ads is because they do not wish to be taken away from their current online activity. Not exactly a big reveal. The results would be good news for AdKeeper if users had also Read More
Scott Kurnit, who founded About.com, has a weird idea at which investors have now thrown a total of $43 million.
The idea is that people usually ignore online ads because they’re focused on doing other things. Our online behavior is often goal-oriented, so advertisements become an undesirable distraction from reading the news, Read More