Hulu is close to selecting 21st Century Fox exec Mike Hopkins as its new supreme leader. [AllThingsD]
“Investors are showing increasing hunger for initial public offerings of unprofitable technology companies,” because that doesn’t sound like a sign of a bubble or anything. [Wall Street Journal]
The Google TV brand is being eliminated. [The Verge]
Y Combinator is opening a San Francisco outpost. [TechCrunch]
For the twentieth time this year, Facebook is screwing with your privacy settings. [Business Insider]
Twice as many households have “smart tvs” as streaming devices–but only 69 percent of them are actually connected to the Internet. Grandparents! [GigaOm]
“When I got here, I was very emotionally touched by all the great companies in this area….These were all the companies I had heard of since I was a kid. I felt like I should be here. Like I belong.” [New York Times]
Here is how you remove tagged Instagram posts from your profile. [Wired]
Earlier this year, Mt. Gox and CoinLab teamed up in a partnership to reach the American market more efficiently. Now CoinLab is suing for $75 million in damages. [Gawker]
Do you trust your friends enough to give them the extra set of keys to your Facebook account? [L.A. Times]
Teach Me How to Startup
At this point, it seems fair to say that celebrity-associated tech startups occupy their own stratum of Startupland. There’s the celebrity-backed startup, benefitting from the digital ambitions of investors like Scooter Braun, Ashton Kutcher, and Lady Gaga. Then there’s the celebrity “cofounded” company (see: half the startups in Los Angeles). There’s even startups that help brands harness the buying power of, say, Team Breezy.
Coming soon: a celebrity-backed venture capital fund, with a hashtag in the title, of course.
Teach Me How to Startup
Yesterday, Y Combinator (Silicon Valley’s ur-accelerator) hosted its biannual Demo Day at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.
As cofounder Paul Graham announced last fall, YC downsized both the number of startups and the size of the investment in this current class. And fears that the accelerator bubble is about to pop were not lost on the 47 startups who presented, nor the 500 or so investors in attendance.
So the tech world likes incubators. Indeed, even as new players enter the field, there are signs that the incubator model is bursting at the seams. Y Combinator downsized to less than 50 companies in its most recent class, from 84 last summer. When 500 Startups decided to establish a base in New York, it opted for a coworking space instead of an incubator. TechStars keeps growing, but its most recently announced additions have been abroad or in more narrowly-defined niches.
The Real TechStars of New York
As 2011 came to a close, we looked back at our most popular posts. But this year, we’re a little older (a mature year and nine months!), a lot wiser, and thought we’d try something a little different. Thank you for reading!
Ultra-Orthodox Jews Take a Hard Line on the Internet at Rally of 40,000 Men (And Me) In which our intrepid reporter sneaks into Citi Field in drag.
Faith, Hope, and Singularity: Entering the Matrix with New York’s Futurist Set It’s the end of the world as we know it, and they feel fine.
At any startup accelerator, Demo Days are a relentlessly upbeat affair–a parade of promotional pitch decks and stats about market size that somehow always reach up into the billions. But in New York City, Techstars’ biannual showcase takes the cake.
Founded in Boulder, the program launched in New York in 2011 (just as the startup scene cried out for tent poles to rally around) and easily fills auditoriums. Companies often announce “soft-circled” funding or even that the round has already closed. Mayor Bloomberg even called the number of investors who fly to New York to check out presentations, “proof positive that the TechStars is going to change this world and certainly change America and this city.”
Or as TechStars mentor Joel Spolsky put it before introducing one of the startups at Webster Hall: “Time to get my company oversubscribed.”
They make great presents, but books are deceptively difficult to give: You don’t want to buy some random bestseller off the front table at Barnes and Noble, but wander very far into the store and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with options. To lend a hand, we’ve combed through this year’s techie-targeted releases (and tossed in a couple of old favorites, as well).
Did we mention that winter is coming? Y Combinator is funding less startups in its winter 2013 cycle—less than 50 so far, down from 84 this summer. To reach the smaller number, the accelerator focused on predictors of failure. Turned out, they took a friendlier view of applicants they met after lunch. [Y Combinator]
“If you put yourself in the position to ask for something that is already legal, you’ll find you’ll never be able to roll out.” Perpetual bull-in-a-china-shop Uber is having some issues with regulators. [New York Times]
After ballooning to 84 companies this summer, Y Combinator is cutting back to less than fifty fundees. [YC]
Looks like Facebook is still hacking away at the problem of mobile: Now that Instagram has been fully assimilated, there’s talk of the social networking buying the paid mobile messaging app Whatsapp. [TechCrunch]
The battle for same-day shipping supremacy is commencing, and it ain’t gonna be cheap. [Wall Street Journal]
Free your miiind, man: Cast off the finance lens, with its talk of “bubbles,” and focus on the product lens. That means asking not whether a sector is overfunded, but something more like, “have the products in area X caught up to the best practices of the industry? Are they reaching their potential?” [Chris Dixon]