The Next Rocketship - Sponsored by The Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell
For the third interview in “The Next Rocketship” series, we spoke with Anthony Casalena, founder of Squarespace, about fundraising, building his business from one employee to nearly 200, and the importance of web design fundamentals. Read More
After the Storm
Another big move from Soho-based Squarespace: Today the company is launching a commerce offering for digital and physical goods, which will allow Squarespace users an integrated option for selling whatever they want through the platform.
CEO Anthony Casalena said the reason was pretty simple: Demand. It’s been “the number-one most-requested feature across the platform for half a decade.”
When Hurricane Sandy smashed into lower Manhattan last week, customers of the data center Peer1 faced the prospect of major downtime. Just a blackout would’ve been no problem. But when the basement flooded, it took out the pumps that transport fuel from the reserve tanks to the generators on top of the building. That’s where Squarespace CEO Anthony Casalena came in.
“I wake up Tuesday, I live in Soho,” said Mr. Casalena. “There’s no reception. There’s no power, so all the cell towers are dead.” Somehow a couple of messages snuck through to his cell phone: “Anthony there’s a major problem at Peer1, the basement’s flooded, they can’t access any reserve fuel, we have 12 hours.” He hurriedly packed a bag and started walking downtown.
Wanna see commitment? Employees of Squarespace, Fog Creek and Peer1 kept their data center up and running throughout the disaster by hauling fuel up 17 flights of stairs. [TechCrunch]
Despite the tendency among Mac users to go batshit nuts lining up for every new product, crowds weren’t quite as major as usual for the iPad Mini. [TechCrunch]
It’s like pulling teeth to get Apple to apologize to Samsung for IP infringement, as the U.K. court of appeals is discovering. [Guardian]
Speaking of the U.K., Kickstarter is now open to projects from across the pond. [Kickstarter]
Popcorn brand Pop Secret has released an app to help you plan movie nights. And let’s face it–this weekend, you deserve a movie night. [Fast Company]
Hires and Fires
Finally, officially out: Squarespace 6, a complete rework of the web design platform that’s been around since the olden days of 2003. The beta has been trucking along since last October, but today the company finally flipped the switch. The new platform is the culmination of two years of work, following a $38.5 million investment made by Index Ventures and Accel Partners back in 2010.
Included in the overhaul is practically everything but the kitchen sink. A brief summary, from today’s announcement:
Class Is in Session
This morning Betabeat learned that Rolling.fm co-founder and former Googler Tim Zhou had joined Tumblr. It has also come to light that another Rolling cofounder and Xoogler, Thomas Chau, has joined another prominent New York startup: Squarespace. “We liked Thomas’s strong entrepreneurial spirit (take risks and run fast) along with his perfect Squarespace DNA of product design sensibility coupled with engineering awesomeness,” Squarespace SVP Jesse Hertzberg wrote in an email. Squarespace, if you’re not familiar, is a website builder and hosting platform (that is often likened to Tumblr, as it happens) founded in 2003. Now we just need to suss out what has become of the third Rolling co-founder, Xoogler Nhon Ma…
In in its Sunday issue, the New York Post put its own spin on data showing that New York City’s tech start-ups racked up $1.7 billion in funding this past year. Using numbers from CB Insights, the paper identified nine “NYC tech giants” based on the amount of funding those start-ups had accrued. But at least one tech scene native was restless over the way the results were reported.
On her Tumblr, MessageParty co-founder Amanda Peyton, who works out of the Makery’s co-working space in Williamsburg, pointed out some of the “half-truths or straight-up errors” in the piece. Her issue wasn’t the numbers, but rather the way the paper described what the companies do. After acknowledging that the tech reporting isn’t exactly in the Post’s wheelhouse, Ms. Peyton added, “But surely someone there should know that Foursquare isn’t an e-commerce company.”