PHONE NUMBERS TO MEMORIZE
Maybe you’ve heard of (Harlem) startup PolicyMic, the startup most famous for:
- Having a former Goldman Sachs trader who quit his job venture into StartupLand,
- Being a fancy politics forum where the ability to speak is doled out in a currency of “Mics,”
- Having contributors like Condoleezza Rice, and especially,
- Being based out of Harlem. Harlem! How utterly progressive/gentrification-forward!
Well, Business Insider has finally cracked the largest story on (Harlem) startup PolicyMic basically ever. Are you ready?
719-266-2837. Call it.
Don’t worry, it’s not a phone sex line. Just call it.
Feel better? Know why?
This is a guest post from Eric Wiesen, a general partner at RRE. It originally appeared on his blog.
The recent acquisition of Gowalla by Facebook is just the latest incidence of the potential tension between investors and founders when a company is acquired primarily for the team rather than for the technology, product or business that they’ve built. People around the web will take the opportunity to observe that in situations where a company is acquired in this way, the founders typically get a package of equity to motivate them to join (and remain at) the acquiring company, while investors usually get anywherefrom zero to a small return on invested capital. Look around and you’ll find people willing to condemn the founders for unethically “selling out” their investors and you’ll find people who say the exact opposite, that such a company didn’t have saleable assets anyway, and so investors are owed nothing because the business failed.
There is an informal poll running on Paul Graham’s Hacker News right now asking startup workers about their experience with stock options.
“Just want to see how much people earn actual cash from their employee stock options. If you joined a startup as an employee and had some stock options, how much did you earn during exit or IPO?”
The most common response by far: None – my stock option vanished and don’t own any
Caught In The Webb
EARLIER THIS MONTH, ON A SUNDAY MORNING, the startup world woke up to that rare stripe of news which quietly sends shockwaves reverberating throughout an entire culture of people: Ilya Zhitomirskiy, 22 years old, had passed away. The cause of death “appears to be a suicide,” noted a San Francisco police officer who spoke with CNN. A forthcoming coroner’s report will make a final determination. Mr. Zhitomirskiy was one of the four co-founders of Diaspora*, once breathlessly hyped in a May 2010 New York Times article as a “cry to arms” against Facebook, in a story that employed a classic tech narrative: four brilliant young men, on the verge of changing the world, subsisting on ramen and pizza.
Y Combinator’s Hacker News link to the item racked up pages of comments, many devoted to shouting down those who wanted to have a discussion about depression in the technology and startup community, noting it as an inappropriate moment for that topic. One user noted that a breaking news thread announcing Mr. Zhitomirskiy’s death was “a terrible place to have a discussion about ‘the stresses of life … related to tech.’”
Another disagreed: “We don’t talk about suicide in society very well let alone within the startup community. Founders find themselves in extremely stressful situations and living lifestyles that exacerbate the effects of this stress.”
This second comment read in contrast to the first, whose final suggestion on the matter was to “have that discussion inside your head” for the time being, and then go talk about it some other time.
In 1997 in Boston I had the pleasure of witnessing in person what Steve Jobs called “my worst and stupidest staging event ever.” He had recently made his triumphant return to Apple, and I was amongst those psychopathic faithful that continued to use OS 9 even though it was obviously a piece of crap compared Read More
Thank you, Matt Langer, for directing us towards one of the most sadistic treatments—”bastardization” is unfair to bastards, here—of the entire genre of rap music, ever, delivered at the hands of a startup rapping about how they’d like some VC money.
And yes, of course they’re white.
Follow the Money
Betabeat is looking to find the best young startups in New York for a new web series we’re producing called Elevator Pitch, which is being sponsored by FedEx.
The premise is simple: we’ll profile a group of great startups and give each of them a chance to sit down and pitch Lerer Ventures.
There are Read More
White Collar Capital
The folks at Dubset.com, one of the original General Assembly companies, have released a fun little explainer video on the MixSCAN technology they are developing in partnership with Sony Gracenote. The idea is that DJs can upload their mixes and create a virtual watermark. That way any system running MixSCAN can identify when a Read More
The big bucks available for brainy folks willing to work on Wall Street is depleting the talent pool for startups according to a new report from the Kaufman Foundation authored by Paul Kedrosky and Dane Stangler.
The study focuses on the rate at which STEM graduates (Science, Engineer and Math) have moved Read More