When I started building companies in the '90s, the only tools designed to help startups grow were "productivity apps" like Microsoft Office and Quickbooks. They were helpful, but they only solved very basic problems like math, bookkeeping and letter writing.
They didn’t address high-level stuff like ideation, analytics, hiring, CRM (customer relationship management), time tracking, project management, customer feedback and—gulp!—employee motivation and feedback. If you wanted software to do those things, you needed to hire three or four people and customize software packages, which typically started in the six-figure-and-up range.
Today? Today you can have all eight of those functions for—wait for it—under $1,000 a month. Most importantly, they can each be set up and learned in under a day, and managed by existing team members—without dedicated staff—in a couple of hours a month.
We love bringing living legends to our stage, which is why we are thrilled and honored that Mitch Kapor will join LAUNCH founder Jason Calacanis for a fireside chat at LAUNCH Education & Kids. The event, where 20 companies will debut or demo new products, takes place June 26 & 27 at Microsoft's campus in Mountain View.
Mitch is best known as the founder of Lotus Development Corporation and designer of Lotus 1-2-3. Through Kapor Capital, he is active as a seed-stage investor focused on social impact startups, especially in education, healthcare and consumer finance. Mitch is also a director and major funder of the Level Playing Field Institute, which works to increase fairness in education and the workplace by closing the opportunity gap and removing barriers to success (the full bio is here).
We planned on making the 2013 LAUNCH Festival our biggest, best event ever -- and judging by the crowds, the energy and the awesome demos, panels and firesides, we're pretty sure we did just that.
We asked our friends at Lewis PR to run some numbers on our social presence and package them with some of our other stats -- such as 6k attendees, 500 Hackathon participants -- into one tidy infographic.
Turns out #launch2013 was used nearly 21k times during the event and Twitter-ing folks mentioned @LAUNCH more than 4k times (thanks to @hkwong for tweeting more than us!). Plus, attendees using our crowdfunding app committed more than $12.5M in LAUNCH dollars to the 50 startups that launched on stage.
Last year, on August 1st, I emailed you guys my thoughts about Google Fiber:
Google's Fiber "Proof of Concept" Is Anything But
In that piece I wrote, “Mark my words: Google Fiber is not a test, it's a takeover plan.”
Last week, Google announced its second Fiber city: Austin. Yes, the nerd/hipster home of SXSW will get fiber in a move clearly designed to blow every techie's mind at SXSW 2014.
This week, Google announced that it had bought fiber provider iProvo to launch a third city: Provo, UT.
They just tripled their cities in 10 days.
‘Noogle’ -- the new Google since Larry Page took over as CEO -- is all about moonshots. Google can’t shut up about moonshots in fact, with Steven Levy winning an interview with Larry for WIRED with the title 'Why moonshots matter.'
In 10 short months, 30k+ tech, film and music nerds could be walking around Austin hearing locals brag about their free 5-megabit download connections (and 1 gigabit up/down connections that cost $70 a month.)
More importantly, every Google Fiber home will have a public wifi component. In order to get Google Fiber, you’re going to have to agree to put a router in that lets anyone use a portion of your bandwidth.
That’s not announced, but it’s gonna happen.
This Vine video of TV coverage of the Boston Marathon has been tweeted over 40k times.
[ WLITF = We Live in the Future ]
Checking Twitter is a mixed bag.
One day you open it to find out Kobe’s season is over or that your favorite TV show got picked up by Netflix. Another day a startup you love was either sold or shut down. Sadly, like many of us, you might check your stream and find out that an old friend killed himself.
Yesterday was the worst of these experiences: a terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon.
Or was it a terrorist attack?
Perhaps it was a gas explosion?
Or maybe two gas explosions?
Is that possible to have two gas lines explode? Wait, could this be another 9/11 or 7/7?
If it is, who is responsible?
The speculation starts in our minds the moment the shock fades -- and boy does our shock fade quickly these days. As a society, we process instantly, be it terrorist attacks or viral videos.
We move from ‘shock and retweet’ to ‘reply and incendiary post’ in minutes or hours, and then we get meta: with one side telling the other to shut up and that reactions are not right, not wanted or somehow inappropriate.
'Now is not the time to speculate!' is the rallying cry.
We all process so fast: one minute we’re in shock and the next we are criticizing each other’s reactions to shocking events.
Perhaps we should be more forgiving of news anchors and to each other in moments of stress, fear and outrage?
No one can put their foot in their mouth when it’s closed, but the quickest path to resolution is our words.
Should we speak or shut up?