We all know the statistics, or at least know the analysis about the statistics: People typically tend to buy things based on the recommendation on their friends and someone that they have trust in. But how would you know if someone would actually buy that item? Is there a way where you can use some sort of a viral social network or service that you can just post photos up there and all you want people to do is simply vote yes or no whether or not they’d be interested in that? Is there a need for a “Hot or Not” service for products where people can join in and share the items they are considering purchasing or perhaps even selling? And lastly, how can you further spread the news about your product by attaching it to the existing social networks like Twitter and Facebook?
That’s a lot of questions to be asking, but allow me to simply respond with three short words: Tip or Skip.
Managing photos in your own mobile application or developing a way to extract photos from services like Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, and many other similar services can be time-consuming and probably costly. But for services and companies interested in curating photos from around the Interwebs and displaying similar themed ones on their website or through their mobile application, there needs to be a simpler way.
And that’s where Chute comes into play. In February of this year, the service first launched and became highly touted as a developer-friendly way for applications to basically “curate, manage, and display” media files. To put it simply, as Rip Empson from TechCrunch described it, it’s the Twilio for Photos. It seems that both investors and companies have found that analogy quite appealing to them with many flocking to Chute for assistance with their media displays in their application and/or for their events and shows. Now, after initially launching at the Launch Conference in 2011 and then pivoting slightly from a consumer-facing service to a developer-centric one, before being a member of the Y Combinator family, Chute has certainly hit its stride and is moving forward to making big things happen.
Get ready America: the 2012 Olympics are about to begin! That’s right, in one week, the Summer Olympics are set to kick off in London, England and it’s attracting a lot of attention, at least from a technology standpoint. Whether it’s about their use about social media for its athletes or how it’s rumored to be the most social in the history of the Olympiad, or anything else, there’s a whole lot going on with this historic event.
But the Olympics are much more than just sports. It’s also about building a better community and to do some charitable good. This year is no different and even the tech community is getting involved with one of the Olympic’s global events to help promote tolerance, peace, and fitness in the world.
Known as the “Walk A Mile” event, this campaign is supported by the 2012 London Olympics and also the US State Department’s Hours Against Hate tolerance campaign designed to help showcase the potential of young people to change the world. To help promote the “Walk A Mile” event, InterAmerican Gaming, in partnership with Dave Stewart, Rock-it Media, Kiip Rewards, PayPal, and Xtreme Labs, just announced the release of their new fitness mobile application, SoFit.
Confession time: I recently decided to upgrade my phone and picked up the iPhone 4S with Verizon Wireless.
As some of you may know, for the past couple years, I had been an Android user, absolutely refusing to upgrade to the iPhone. Why? It wasn’t because of pure hatred of iOS or its applications, but because I wasn’t so sure about whether I really wanted the iPhone. Sure, a lot of people have told me that if I wanted to sample the latest applications that are out on the market, then I needed to be able to be on the iPhone. I suppose that I thought I’d be able to temporarily supplant that need simply by using an iPad, but eventually I gave in and went with the iPhone. But it wasn’t a smooth of transition as one might expect.
The last Android device that I had was the HTC Thunderbolt, which was on Verizon’s 4G network and I really liked. It was somewhat big in size and took some getting used to, but I liked downloading the different apps and was even happier when “new” apps came to Google Play, after spending months or years being available in the Apple store. Nevertheless, I had been experiencing some signal and data issues on my Thunderbolt recently and after being instructed to do a factory reset in the hope that it would resolve the issue (which it didn’t), I was told that I could either have Verizon send me a new Thunderbolt and still be month-to-month on my plan or renew for another two years. Now, normally this wouldn’t be something to write about…I mean, why would you care about my data plan? Well, turns out that because Verizon recently updated their data plans and no longer have unlimited data, I was in a bit of a pickle. You see, it turns out that I’m one of the above-average data users–each month, I’m averaging about 3 GB of data being used. So if I rolled over to Verizon’s new plans, I would be paying a bit more than what I’m currently doing now.
There have been a lot of great speakers that tech publication, PandoDaily, has brought forth each month. It all started out with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington and continued with Path’s Dave Morin, investor Peter Thiel, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, and one-half of Andreessen Horowitz, Ben Horowitz. But never in San Francisco has PandoDaily had the CEO of a public tech company on stage and one that has helped change the way an industry operates. Last night, PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy made it happen with Zynga’s CEO, Mark Pincus.
The beginning of the talk began with Mrs. Lacy addressing what some people might think of as controversial–Zynga’s company culture. What some believe is that Zynga’s culture has people subscribing to the belief that long and tiresome work is needed from them and there are rumors saying that it’s resulting in a talent drain the company. In a snippet from the New York Times article via the San Francisco Chronicle, it’s reported that:
But that culture, which has been at the root of Zynga’s success, could become a serious liability, warn several former senior employees who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals…As the discord increases, the situation may jeopardize the company’s ability to retain top talent at a time when Silicon Valley start-ups are fiercely jockeying for the best executives and engineers. It could also hamper deal-making, a critical growth engine for Zynga, which has spent about $119 million on acquisitions in the last two years.
It seemed that while this controversy seems to be out there, Mr. Pincus doesn’t have an answer for why things happened the way they did. Zynga became a company that grew to the size that it did much larger than any other startup in Silicon Valley. But could the corporate culture be tied into Zynga’s mission and belief in it? For Mr. Pincus, he’s determined to make Zynga succeed, and for the most part, it has–having just had its IPO happen, that’s probably the pinnacle of being a success. But the job’s not done yet. For Zynga’s CEO, his aspirations don’t include him being a serial entrepreneur. It’s just not his thing. Sure, he’s done at least a couple of other startups and many have unfortunately failed, but for Mr. Pincus, he derives value out of being passionate about one thing in the world and growing to change with it.