The social networking wars resurge, this time in the form of billboard dares. The latest entrant to the arena is PrimeHangout, spotted in San Francisco by Jonathan Cowperthwait, Product Marketing Manager at social analytics startup awe.sm.
Taking aim at Facebook’s billion-or-so users, PrimeHangout offers “Social media with artificial intelligence!” adding, “The future is here” — apparently a future freed from the constraints of pesky, sentence-ending typographical marks.
“We are the Next Step” claims the Philadephia-based startup, to approximately fifteen Twitter followers.
In what might be a Silicon Valley first, Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, won two startup awards on the same night, highlighting both the achievements of his role at the company’s helm, and the controversies created in the process.
Inside the Davies Symphony Hall, Costolo won “Best CEO,” the Best Actor equivalent of The Crunchies, Silicon Valley’s lavish annual award ceremony co-organized by TechCrunch, GigaOM, and VentureBeat. Costolo’s newest accolade emerged from fierce competition, in which he edged out Tesla’s Elon Musk, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Yahoo!’s Marissa Mayer, and runner-up-winning Travis Kalanick of Uber.
“This is really a team award,” said Costolo, in a gracious and brief acceptance speech. “It’s just such a delight to be able to get up in the morning and come to work with such enthusiastic, and creative, and courageous people. It makes it fun, it makes it exciting, and it never gets old, so thanks very much — I really appreciate it.”
Today marked the seventh year of The Crunchies, and the first of another event: The Crappies, organized in protest by the San Francisco chapter of Jobs With Justice. Playfully adorned with hand-written, paperboard signage, The Crappies organizers “awarded” individuals and companies for actions deemed problematic and harmful to the city and its myriad communities.
Dick Costolo was among the dubious cast of Crappies prizewinners, receiving the award for Best Tax Evader. The award references the company’s decision to relocate to the city’s Mid-Market neighborhood in the now-termed “Twitter building.”
In agreeing to the move, Twitter accepted a payroll tax credit pioneered by Mayor Ed Lee. The credit, misleadingly called the “Twitter tax break,” in fact extends to any company that relocates to the Mid-Market neighborhood, a trending district that incorporates areas of Civic Center and the Tenderloin, along with stretches of SoMa from 6th to 10th Street.
In guise of the real Costolo, local nonprofit worker and activist James Chionsini, playing a rather convincing Fake Dick Costolo, accepted the award. Chionsini’s last tweet, dated from almost a year ago, rings today with newfound prescience:
@twitter i work at a non profit at 5th and mission with seniors and the landlord is jacking our rent to attract tech firms. thanks a lot
The Crappies have followed a wave anti-gentrification protests across the Bay Area, where private buses transport Google workers to and from the company’s Mountain View headquarters. The protests, widely covered in both tech and mainstream press, highlight the tensions rippled by the wave of a tech economy that fails to lift all boats.
“San Francisco is in a crisis,” decries Jobs With Justice. Median rental prices recently topped $3,000 for the first time in history, situating the City by the Bay as the country’s single most expensive place to live.
In an interview with the CEO (Jason Gordo) and Marketing Director (Sarah Buhr) of San Francisco startup FlexScore, we discuss the wide world of personal finance, and dive into the ways that FlexScore is bringing financial insight to the 99%, information previously only available to the wealthy.
Ed Lee, San Francisco’s Startup Mayor (Source: AP)
Recognizing that the spirit and practice of entrepreneurship can enrich and benefit government and the public sector, Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced the San Francisco Entrepreneurship in Residence, a new initiative from the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation.
Working in tandem with the Mayor’s office, talented entrepreneurial teams will build technology-enabled products to drive significant ends towards governmental goals: whether increased revenue, enhanced productivity, or decreased cost.
“We need the top entrepreneurs to work with us on opportunities that are actual pain points and needs of government,” says Mayor Lee. “San Francisco’s EIR program advances our role and vision as the Innovation Capital of the World.”
The program will last for 16 weeks, beginning mid-October of this year and continuing through February. Teams, of which three to five will be selected, will have unprecedented access to the $142 billion public sector market, tackling areas such as data, mobile and cloud services, healthcare, education, transportation, energy and infrastructure.
The moves comes as another inspiring moment for Mayor Lee, whose alliance with Twitter, Spotify, and other leading startups is revitalizing the long-depressed Mid-Market area, bringing jobs and prosperity to an area accustomed to empty storefronts and deserted sidewalks — a long-beleagured neighborhood that the mayor himself is set for a “total resurgence.“
The Revolution Will Be Wearable
In anticipation of the largest wearable computing conference since Google I/O, we invited Kyle Ellicot, co-founder of Stained Glass ...