The Big Apple's new tech entrepreneurs. New Yorkers are generally portrayed as being a rather cynical and jaded bunch, but a wave of young Big Apple entrepreneurs are turning that stereotype on its head. New York magazine has an interesting article on how social-media companies like Foursquare and Tumblr are doing their best to turn NYC into a breeding ground for optimism and a viable alternative to Silicon Valley. Not only that, these fresh-faced entrepreneurs are breathing new life into a city that has been struggling with the uncertain future of traditional media. Scott Heifermen, co-founder of Meetup, sums up this attitude nicely: 'Start-up culture is about really changing the world. I know that's a cliché. But Si Newhouse never wanted to change the world.' Of course, not everyone is in agreement that social media is the only exciting thing going on in New York's tech scene. Entrepreneur and Gawker-alumni Elizabeth Spiers argues that while social-media companies are "sexy" and get lots of media attention, "...this is not what New York tech looks like. There are tons of companies that do b2b apps and, godforbid, develop technologies that have nothing to do with Internet, but you're not going to read about them the way you will social media."
The demise of for-pay babysitting? If these California parents have their way, paying for a babysitter may soon be a thing of the past. As the Contra Costa Times explains (via the Los Angeles Times), the rise of babysitting co-ops could mean your kid with the entrepreneurial streak needs to consider another after-school business.
Colorado's crop of mile-high entrepreneurs. Following California's lead, Colorado is experiencing a boom of medical-marijuana entrepreneurs opening dispensaries to sell pot to the state's over 66,000 legally-licensed users. As CNBC reports, Denver currently has close to 250 such dispensaries, while Boulder has over 100. Said one parter of Greenwerks, a Denver dispensary, 'There is a lot of investment money waiting on the sidelines, investors waiting to see what the rules are, waiting until an investment is not so high-risk. I am a little surprised at how many dispensaries did pop up. Like any gold rush, any boom, there'll be a bust. There will be a shakeout."
Measuring the value of social media ads. Nielsen and Facebook recently formed a partnership to learn more about consumer habits and reactions to ads on social media platforms. That partnership has just spawned its first report, which draws on surveys of 800,000 Facebook users and over 125 different ad campaigns according to TechCrunch. Unfortunately, the data does not include offline purchases yet but the stats on ad recall, awareness, and purchase intent provide useful insights nonetheless. For more advice on advertising on Facebook, or advertising online in general, check out our guides.
Steve Jobs' war on porn. Steve Jobs probably had better days than yesterday. First his software engineer lost a prototype of the iPhone 4 and Gizmodo got their grubby hands on it. Then TechCrunch published another missive in his war with the Android platform. In response to question from a consumer about Apple's interest in deciding what content its consumers should be able to receive (see: Apple's blocking of Pulitizer Prize winner Mark Fiore's comic book app, which Jobs has called a mistake), the Apple CEO wrote, "we do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy and [sic] Android phone." TechCrunch predicts that Jobs will "keep taking these jabs from what he considers to be the moral high ground."
A new venue for app developers. App developers take note, Mashable reports that Ford is introducing SYNC AppLink, a software upgrade for its SYNC systems, which will allow drivers to control applications for BlackBerry and Android smartphones with voice commands. Ford is also launching a network that will allow app developers to seamlessly integrate SYNC support for their applications. The first SYNC-enabled mobile apps to be available include Pandora, Stitcher, and OpenBeak, and the first car to support the SYNC AppLink will be the 2011 Ford Fiesta.