If you’re a part of the tech industry, then chances are you’ve managed to venture out after work to a club, lounge, or an office where some type of party is happening. This industry is infamous for its parties (in addition to its hard work ethics). One person seems to recognize that this phenomenon holds some opportunity and he’s looking to bank on it in his brand new venture.
Mike Prasad, a long-time Los Angeles fixture who is renowned for being a serial entrepreneur, has spread his wings and ventured out to the Hawaii in search of new opportunities. Mr. Prasad is probably more well known for being the founder of the popular female gaming community site, GirlGamer, the anime fan site, Ani.me, the new social media event tool, Screenfuse, and definitely for being the guy who helped put the popular food truck, Kogi BBQ, on the map, social media-wise. About a year ago, Mr. Prasad decided to create a new venture called MXLGY, which is a “free private newsletter for the drinking enthusiast, dedicated to the art of craft cocktails & modern mixology.” During his adventures in the Aloha state, he decided to pursue his interest in mixed drinks and cocktails and slowly started to foster an idea to bring a little bit of Hawaii to the rest of the world.
I can’t tell you how much I love riding Uber. Ever since I’ve moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve been hanging out downtown and other neighborhoods until late at night when there’s either no bus service readily available or a scarcity of cabs and in desperate need to get home. My problems continue when there are cabs available and either (a) don’t stop, or (b) do stop and tell me that they can’t take me to my destination. Why? I have no idea…but while some might decide to wallow in their desperation about just how they can get home, thankfully I have Uber to come in and save my day. While I’m not enjoying the fact that it’s quite expensive over the course of time, every now and then, I find it necessary and that even worth spoiling myself over just to call on Uber to get me home or wherever I need them to take me.
So you’ll understand my excitement when I travel to another city and discover that Uber is there as well–just this past weekend, I was in Los Angeles and decided to venture out from my hotel to a bar to hang out with my friends. Normally I would probably hop in a cab, but after finding out that Uber was servicing the area, I decided to go that route and was pleased with the response.
Unfortunately, my experience with this great disruptive service isn’t necessarily shared by everyone–not every really cares for what Travis Kalanick and Ryan Graves has done, and there are some that are trying to stifle it in favor of continued promotion of a traditional system and favored industry. In Washington, DC, a town with a growing tech community, the city council recently debated over an amendment to their city that would revolutionize their dilapidated cab service, but punish Uber’s DC service. Why? No one really seems to know the truth to why the DC city council would go that route, but some may speculate that the taxi industry is a powerful lobby in the city. Even politicians have tried to punish the startup–in early January, DC Taxicab Commission chairman Ron Linton used a sting to try and claim that Uber’s operations in the nation’s capital were illegal. Other cities have been hammering on the service as well. But what do they have to fear? Another method for people to get around? Something ingenious that uses technology to help provide better response? An even easier method that would help expedite payments? Who knows, but it seems to have gotten worse for Uber…
We all know that San Francisco is practically the hotbed of social media fandom and excitement. But did you also know that there’s a holiday to commemorate this phenomenon? Well it’s not a federally-registered holiday, but a holiday nonetheless. Started in 2010 by digital lifestyle publication, Mashable, this annual tradition is meant to celebrate social media and the connectiveness one gets as a result of being on social media. In its third year, Mashable has drastically grown the cult following to the point where it was held in over 200 cities around the world! There were Mashable meetups in celebration of Social Media Day in places like Toronto, New York City, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Mumbai, Atlanta, Barcelona, Istanbul, Melbourne, Panama, and even right here in San Francisco!
The world of business has just drastically changed and one of the most established enterprise companies in the world just gained one of the most liberal and rebellious to have ever emerged onto the social scene in the past decade. Ever since Yammer, a well-funded social collaboration company, first came on the scene after taking the top prize at TechCrunch 50 in 2008, there has been a shift in the business paradigm. And now, on the heels of their recent announcement of Yammer’s acquisition by global software giant, Microsoft, this popular startup is poised to achieve even greater success and help disrupt the way people are doing business.
Perhaps commonly known in its beginnings as the “Twitter for Enterprise”, Yammer has come a long way in its short four year history to become the de facto service for millions of customers, many of whom are represented in companies that make up the Fortune 500 group. Under the terms of the acquisition, Microsoft will purchase the social business company for $1.2 billion in cash and will join the Microsoft Office Division, which is led by the division president, Kurt DelBene. When asked why they purchased Yammer, Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, responded with “The acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love.” It seems that the software giant saw some great potential that Yammer had versus what they could have possibly mustered using their own social enterprise software called Sharepoint. We’ll explore that a little bit later on, but suffice it to say, according to the announcement, Yammer won’t be integrated into the collective of software right away:
Yammer will continue to develop its standalone service and maintain its commitment to simplicity, innovation and cross-platform experiences. Moving forward, Microsoft plans to accelerate Yammer’s adoption alongside complementary offerings from Microsoft SharePoint, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics and Skype.
Over the past few months, super people transporter, Uber, has made some significant expansions as it aims to help the world battle the inefficient private transportation industry and make cab-like services much more enjoyable. It started off in San Francisco and has slowly expanded to other metropolitan cities and locations, including Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. The service has also recently moved across the seas to promote their international coverage, coincidentally during the same time as the LeWeb conference, in Paris and now in London. Certainly not bad for a company who has certainly made the general public supportive and appreciative of the company’s work. And one can only assume that Uber will be branching off to other locales in the near future. Just where remains a bit of a mystery, but you can probably bet that as long as there’s an issue about cab drivers purposely not picking you up or rude customer service experiences, then Uber will be right up there moving in to help make your transportation experience much more enjoyable.
In order to help Uber rapidly and efficiently respond to growing demand and expand, this well-funded San Francisco-based startup announced last week that they were bringing on board an experienced partner and new Chief Operating Operator. That person is none other than former Booking.com CEO Kees Koolen. Mr. Koolen is the company’s answer for this desire to scale a global organization and both CEO Ryan Graves, and founder Travis Kalanick recognize this. The new COO definitely has a huge task in front of him, but it’s nothing new for the man who “built and grew Booking.com from a small team into the multibillion world leader of hotel reservations with more than 3,500 people working from more than 70 offices around the world.“