Startups

Costly NY Startup Program Created… 76 Jobs

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Last year, the New York state government launched Start-Up NY, a program designed to boost employment by creating tax-free zones for technology and manufacturing firms that partner with academic institutions. In theory, those tax-free zones on university campuses would give companies access to the best young talent and cutting-edge research. But only a few firms are actually taking the bait: According to a report from the state’s Department of Economic Development, the program only created 76 jobs last year, despite… continue…

Startup Advice From Someone Looking Back

Posted In Working in Tech
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In a widely circulated posting on his blog talkingquickly, Ruby/Android developer Ben Dixon has 63 bits of startup advice, arranged under the charming title, “What I’d Tell Myself About Startups If I Could Go Back 5 Years.” Much of Dixon’s advice will be familiar to anyone who’s ever asked around about running a startup (“’Ads’ are where business models go to die”), but some of it is repeated less often, and worth reiterating here. To wit: “Always refuse if someone… continue…

Startups Outsource, Too

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Have you ever called up customer service at Uber? How about at Tinder? Most likely, you haven’t. In fact, you probably couldn’t find a phone number for these companies’ customer-service departments if you tried; they go out of their way to solve all of your problems over email. While a quick, documented response is (sometimes) great for customers, it turns out it’s great for startups such as Uber and Tinder, too: Eliminating a customer-service number means these companies don’t need… continue…

See How Google, ‘Minecraft,’ Others Got Their Start

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
Notch Minecraft Launch
Everybody had to start somewhere—even tech luminaries whose websites and platforms have radically altered how we live and work. Carlcheo.com dug up some early postings by Google CEO Larry Page, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Linux creator Linus Torvalds, all asking for help on their respective projects. Those tiny undertakings eventually snowballed into gargantuan efforts, something that none of the three could have predicted at the time. (The possible exception is Bezos, who refers to his nascent startup as having… continue…

For Developers, Startups Could Equal Big Salaries

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Conventional wisdom suggests that, if you want to make truly big money as a developer or programmer, you should head to the biggest possible firm. On the surface, such advice makes sense: Who has deeper pockets than Google or Apple, after all? While those big firms might provide job security and some very nice perks (who has a better cafeteria than Google?), they’re not the only ones with money: Startups are shelling out quite a bit for tech talent, recognizing… continue…

Billion-Dollar Startup? Boring.

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Once upon a time, a startup valued at more than $1 billion was a rare thing indeed. Now, according to data from the Wall Street Journal, it seems increasingly commonplace, with some 73 venture-backed startups currently valued at more than $1 billion. Those companies include Uber ($41.2 billion), Palantir ($15 billion), SpaceX ($12 billion), Airbnb ($10 billion), and Snapchat ($10 billion). More than 20 of them are headquartered in San Francisco; five are in New York; and four take up… continue…

The Developer Who Bet It All on His Next Game

Posted In Fun
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Never use your own money to fund projects, goes a strain of startup advice. Jonathan Blow, famous in gaming circles for the hit indie game Braid, never got that memo: He plans on funneling all of his money into his next game, entitled The Witness. “The Braid income is not nearly enough anymore to fund the team,” Blow told Engadget in an interview. “I have borrowed a bunch of money to finish The Witness. So I hope when it’s done, some people… continue…

Finding Silicon Valley’s Heart of Entrepreneurship

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Over the past several decades, Silicon Valley has become synonymous with entrepreneurship. But not all entrepreneurs are created equal: As suggested by a new study in Science magazine, those startups that survive and become viable companies generally share a handful of attributes, from shorter names to incorporation and trademarking. (Hat tip to The Verge for the link to the study.) The researchers who authored that study, including an MIT economist, used their model to map the true heart of entrepreneurship… continue…

Attracting Top Engineers in a Competitive Market

Posted In Working in Tech
Ron Pragides
Ron Pragides rode the wave of IPOs at Salesforce and Twitter, but wanted to grow a team at a company with a less-certain future. He was the very first engineer at Austin-based Bigcommerce’s San Francisco office, and the company’s third hire in the area. His team outgrew its original office in 10 months, forcing them to move to another space in SoMa (otherwise known as South of Market, for those who don’t live in the Bay Area). Click here to… continue…

Can Big Data Pick a Winning Startup?

Posted In Data
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Can you predict whether a startup will collapse or succeed? Wall Street and Silicon Valley would certainly like to think so. According to Wired, a handful of independent entrepreneurs and big companies are using data analytics to better forecast whether that hot startup will become the next Uber, or merely the next Pets.com. Click here for analytics jobs. Thomas Thurston, who runs a research firm called Growth Science, told the magazine that his algorithmic simulations accurately predict 88 percent of… continue…