White Collar Capital
Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen couldn’t handle the attention so he pulled the popular game offline. [Gizmodo]
Everyone settle down, the NYPD only has two pairs of Google Glass on hand and aren’t deployed in the field. [WSJ]
After his obnoxious comments about blaming “distressed babies” for rising costs, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong reversed his stance on the company’s 401(k) plan. [Washington Post]
Just 20 percent of traffic to Wikipedia is delivered via mobile devices and they’re trying to fix that. [New York Times]
There’s a trailer for HBO’s new Silicon Valley-themed show, uh, Silicon Valley. It’s very Mike Judge which is a good thing. [Recode]
tale of two valleys
Silicon Valley is a region of California that functions as a pure, unadulterated meritocracy, with only the very best and most deserving people rising to the top.
It makes sense, then, that venture capitalist Tim Draper would suggest to the state government that his beloved Valley secede from the state, as TechCrunch reports today.
Bad news if you’re still clinging to the idea that Silicon Valley is some sort of marvelous Horatio Alger LARP. Reuters has done a deep dive on the question, and surprise, surprise: they found that you’re more likely to become an entrepreneur if you grew up in a household with wealthy, educated parents, and Silicon Valley investors tend to default to connected founders who fit a very particular mold.
We are simply shocked.
Alley vs. Valley
Old-money types love to hate on the nouveau riche–duh, we’ve all seen Titanic–but in the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair, one highfalutin lady throws major shade at Silicon Valley to hilarious effect.
Denise Hale is a Serbian-born San Francisco society staple who was once married to legendary director Vincente Minnelli. She channels everyone’s favorite cranky great-aunt when she tells contributing editor Evgenia Peretz that the Bay Area’s techies “bore the hell out of” her in a piece about the culture clash between WASPy elites and the region’s tech VIPs.
You know what really makes Silicon Alley special? Bloomberg News has a theory: Broadway. Well, that, and the fact that this city is basically swarming with people who weren’t quite talented enough to make it onto the stage professionally but are perfectly capable of killing “Hello, Dolly!” at karaoke night.
Hey, if you felt a faint disturbance in the force this morning, here’s why: Lucas Duplan, a kid barely old enough to drink, just raised a $25 million seed round for his stealth payments startup, which is called “Clinkle.” According to AllThingsD, the company is telling everyone it’s the largest seed round in Silicon Valley history.
Pay no attention to the ghost of Color Labs hovering in the corner of the conference room.
The name, according to Business Insider, ”comes from the sound change makes and its ability to turn into a verb (‘Clink this!’).” When will someone launch a startup dedicated to finding better startup names?
Shut Up and Take My Money
Hulu’s up for sale, and depending on the buyer, it could mean big, big changes for the site. [New York Times]
After reports that Edward Snowden would be fleeing from Moscow to Havana today via Aereoflot, several reporters bought tickets and showed up–only too discover, too late, that Mr. Snowden wasn’t on the plane. They’re still stuck on the flight for Cuba. We’re guessing they no longer find Carmen Sandiego jokes very funny. [Gawker]
Kevin Systrom says Instagram will come to Windows Phone and Blackberry before Google Glass. And it took them a veritable eternity just to get to Android. [Fast Company]
“Are we embracing a soft xenophobia applied to a sector rather than a race, to some cohesive elite tech class that doesn’t exist outside of our own minds?” [SF Gate]
The Bitcoin Foundation has gotten a cease and desist from the state of California. [Forbes]
Silicon Valley Dispatches
Looks like we found yet another place to spend those ever-escalating engineering salaries: chichi Christie’s just announced ”First Bytes: Iconic Technology From the Twentieth Century.” It’s an online-only auction of rare tech gadgets, including an Apple-1 made by the Woz himself in 1976, long before his days of kicking it with Kimye.
Meanwhile Back at the Valley
Vine might end up on App Death Row thanks to Instagram’s new video feature, but don’t feel too bad for the folks at parent company Twitter. If @twentitled is any indication, the biggest problem on their plates is too much steak and caviar.
The @twentitled account is allegedly run by a real-life Twitter staffer. In the same vein as @GSElevator and @CondeElevator, it chronicles overheard complaints and first-world problems of Twitter staffers.
Do you ever look at a centuries-old spiritual practice and think, “Huh, how can I use this to make myself a better employee of Google?” Apparently someone does: Wired reports that meditation and mindfulness are the hottest thing going in Silicon Valley.
Googlers are signing up in droves for “Search Inside Yourself” training, and the company has instituted “mindfulness lunches.” Facebook and Twitter apparently have “regular in-office meditation sessions and arranging for work routines that maximize mindfulness.”