Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (HackInteractive, TechCrunch NYC, OnDeck Sports Conference, One of a Kind, Decoded Fashion, Columbia PE/VC Conference)


This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at]

First things first: Stop reading this and go watch “House of Cards” on Netflix. Yup, it’s that good. You’re welcome!

Back? Okay! Hope y’all survived the weekend #snow-pocalypse (a.k.a. Nemo) and had a blast sledding in the park, hurling snowballs at each other and making elaborate snow sculptures. Here’s an awesome Vine mashup of the storm that my friends Kelsey and Steve made.

Now that you’ve had your winter fun, it’s time to get ready for spring. And that can only mean one thing: internships! That’s right. It’s that time of the year again, when bright-eyed young kids will be running around your offices eager to learn the ropes, change the world, and…err… get you your early-morning fix of decaf-grande-mocha-soy lattes.  So, who’s looking for interns? Everybody, that’s who! Squarespace, Metamorphic Ventures, UrbanDaddy, HowAboutWe, ff Ventures, MoviePass, Birchbox, Artsicle, Learnvest and many, many more. Read More


Dismissive VCs Drive Hardware Startups Straight to Kickstarter

Ms. Hu (

Imagine that you invented this really cool wristband alarm clock, and you think it could be a real ‘disruptive’ technology. You spend months mocking up a presentation to give to investors at TechCrunch Disrupt, but on the morning of your demo, rich assholes incapable of summoning empathy shit all over your startup, simply because it’s a hardware idea.

That’s pretty much exactly what happened to Julia Hu, the cofounder of Lark, according to CNN. Napster bad boy Sean Parker literally laughed her off the stage:

Read More

Find Meee

Sonar Adds New Features, Wants to Be Your ‘Here-Now’ Social Network

Mr. Martin just a year ago. (Photo: Getty/AOL)

The news just keeps rolling out of TechCrunch Disrupt. (Guys, please save us a few stories for next week.) debuted last year on the battlefield and came close to taking home the grand prize. Today, they’re debuting several new features with the goal of becoming your “here-now social network.” Here’s what’s new: First off, they’re adding tweet-like status messages, which’ll show up for friends and other relevant people nearby. They’re also adding notifications, so connections’ll get a ping when you show up nearby. (They’ll see your status message.) You can also now privately message someone who shows up in your vicinity. Read More

TechCrunch Disrupt


We tried to find a picture of Mr. Blodget with a puppy but could not.

Guys, Henry Blodget is mad entertaining. He is especially entertaining when he gets going on the subject of new media and its best/worst practices. The man charged into his mid-morning TechCrunch Disrupt panel on the matter with guns blazing, apparently ready to defend to the death “linkbait” and whatever else you might want to take issue with, by God.

Of course, he had reason to come ready to rumble. Joining Mr. Blodget on the stage were TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis, BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti, and Techmeme founder Gabe Rivera. An illustrative moment: Ms. Tsotsis asked the panelists what they see as new media worst practices; Mr. Peretti offered up, for one thing, sites that arrange headlines and bylines to “look like it came from writers at that site who actually don’t write for that site.” “Any specific examples?” Ms. Tsotsis asked rather pointedly. Business Insider’s name slipped out into the conversation (though we didn’t quite catch who said it.) Also, note the lede on the TechCrunch coverage of the panel.

Mr. Blodget responded with a barrage that made us very thankful he was not, let’s say, our Little League coach.  Read More

TechCrunch Disrupt

Betaworks CEO John Borthwick Refuses to Stir the Pot, Until He Does (A Little)

Mr. Borthwick

After a brief interlude, wherein an organizer appealed to whichever publicity-seeking startup might have released the still-chattering bird high aloft in the rafters, TechCrunch marched onward. M.G. Siegler (formerly of TechCrunch, currently of CrunchFund) opened with what sounded like an invitation to coffee, rattling off the overlap between their respective organizations’ portfolios and concluding, “We should probably talk more.” Betaworks CEO John Borthwick didn’t bite: “We probably should, but we’re doing just fine.” He also added rather pointedly that, “as you know, we are not a fund,” though Betaworks, of course, has investments.

Mr. Borthwick proceeded to, at Mr. Siegler’s inquiry as to how they work with investors on the sunnier side of the country, essentially dismiss any notions of conflict: “This bicoastal thing, I think it’s fun and games” but added that “the market is bigger because of the complementary skills that both coasts offer the market and entrepreneurs and so it’s not, it’s fun to sort of pit one coast against the other, but companies are better for having East Coast and West Coast investors.” Some companies might be a better fit for one coast or the other or both, but regardless, more options are better.  Read More

TechCrunch Disrupt

Andreessen Horowitz’s Jeff Jordan On New York’s Ecommerce Companies: ‘There’s Something Special Happening.’

Mr. Jordan.

Opening the TechCrunch Disrupt proceedings bright and early this morning: Andreessen Horowitz Partner Jeff Jordan. Accompanied by the sounds of birdsong (hey, this thing does take place on a converted pier), he held forth on IPOs, philanthropy, and New York’s ecommerce bloom.

The discussion opened with a discussion of the IPO market. The former OpenTable CEO presided over the company’s 2009 IPO when, at the time, according to moderator Eric Eldon, “Everyone [in Silicon Valley] was watching Mark Zuckerberg keeping his company private.”

Mr. Jordan contrasted today’s IPO fever with the atmosphere just a few years ago: Read More

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (TechCrunch Disrupt, Webby Awards, Database Week, NJTM, Founders@Fail, GigaOm)


This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at]

Hope everyone had an amazing Internet Week! With over 500 companies and 40,000 attendees, it was truly a celebration of New York’s thriving Internet industry and community. And it was awesome to see all the innovation that’s happening around town.

This week is equally crazy with the Webby Awards tonight and then the TechCrunch Disrupt conference over the next 3 days. Hope to see everyone there! (and if you can’t make it to Disrupt, remember, there’s always the option of watching the live stream online!).

And coming up next week is the World Science Festival, which is an annual celebration and exploration of science running from May 30 to June 3. So go check it out!

And now let’s see what cool stuff be crunching up in the Alley this week… Read More


The Pebble Effect: The Spotlight Is Suddenly On Hardware Startups


The last time Betabeat checked in with Pebble the smartwatch, Y Combinator alum Eric Migicovsky had raised some $4.6 million on Kickstarter for an idea that struggled to find venture capital backing despite, you know, actually making revenue. (For those of you keeping track at home, Pebble has added $3 million on top of that for a total of $7.6 million–and counting!–with 17 days left to go.) Yesterday, Mr. Migicovsky got The New York Times treatment.

Now, all the fuss seems to have migrated over to the agenda for TechCrunch Disrupt. The conference just announced that for the first time in New York, the event will feature something called “Hardware Alley” alongside its standard “Start-up Alley” showcase on May 23rd. “We’re looking for promising hardware startups,” writes TechCrunch. “Got a disruptive Kickstarter project?” Gee, wonder who they’re talking about there. Read More