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The Maker Fakers: As Etsy Scales, the Definition of ‘Handmade’ Gets Slippery

Mr. Stinchcomb. (Photo: Flickr.com/generated a.k.a. Jared)

Around this time last year, I developed a nervous twitch around my right eye that made me look like a Bond villain. Instead of getting more sleep or drinking less coffee, I decided to buy an eye patch—but, like, a cool eye patch. My eye patch should be unique and stylish in addition to being functional, I decided, and reflect that I am quirky and confident.

There are some things you can really only buy on Etsy. Read More

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When Is a Tech Startup Not a Tech Startup?

rent the runway

We frequently face this question here at Betabeat: What makes a tech startup a tech startup? All young businesses are startups, and a vast number of new businesses use technology or the Internet. So as a tech blog, how do we decide who to cover? Is Warby Parker a tech startup? Is Bonobos? Is Rent the Runway? All are lightweight on the tech side but have investment dollars from venture capitalists that specialize in tech.

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Joel Spolsky Writes Most Generic Start-Up Description Possible, Starts Snarkfest on Google+

Joel-Portrait

It’s tough to say what’s a tech start-up anymore as the web becomes so integrated in every sector. Perhaps inspired by recent attention on the problem of patent trolling, Stack Exchange founder Joel Spolsky took to Google+ late last night to write up a grand theory to get at the essence of the phrase “internet start-up.”

“Let me see if I can explain how ‘Internet Startups’ work,” he writes. “They make these apparati that draw a box on somebody’s computer screen. That person then types words into that box on their screen. Then, the Internet Startup uses some computer codes to copy those words onto somebody else’s computer screen, so that other person can then read them.” Read More