Archive for day September 17th, 2011

White “iPhone 4s” apparently shows up in AT&T internal system

Engadget says that a white “iPhone 4s” – note the lowercase status of the “s” – has appeared in an internal AT&T system. “4s” is of course close to the “iPhone 4S” nomenclature we coined within our story about Apple seeding A5-equipped iPhones – with iPhone 4 designs – to developers earlier this year. The system that Engadget is calling an “inventory system” is not actually the one used in stores, and based on the accompanying text fields, that system looks to actually have to do with customer care. Additionally, the iPhone 3GS appears with a capital S in AT&T’s inventory systems.

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Jake Smith

September 17th


I Was Unprepared for How Terrifying These Cakes Are [Food]

Scott Hove is a scary scary man. His latest series, "Deadly Desserts", is all about cakes with fangs and tongues and... *shudder*. I feel like I'm staring into the maw of a great pink hellbeast. So delicious. So evil. [Hi Fructose via Neatorama] More »

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Kwame Opam

September 17th


The Tide to Go Pen Will Get You Laid [User Manual]

A few months back, a friend told me that I had to get Tide to Go. This was weird, considering this guy doesn't know the difference between detergent and dish soap... Looking back however, I was foolish to question him. More »

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Michael Zhao

September 17th


Six Must-Watch Backstage Videos From Disrupt Plus The Music (TCTV)

sf disrupt backstage studio

It’s been a very busy week at TechCrunch with our Disrupt conference and other internal disruptions, so you may have missed some great and revealing interviews. Devin Coldewey wrote a post with the Six Must-Watch On-Stage Videos from Disrupt. But there was a lot of activity going on backstage too. We did more than 60 interviews with entrepreneurs, VCs, Angels, CEOs, and a Mayor.

Click on video titles to view additional information from the original post including a summary, commentary and comments. The rest of the conference can be found at our Ultimate Guide to Disrupt SF.

Also, if you find yourself missing or still humming the tunes from Disrupt, you can download the music created for us by Smith & Keats Music in this post.

Backstage Interview with Shaker After They Won the Disrupt Cup

The winners, Shaker. How do you guys feel right now?


Let's hear some happiness.



I knew you guys.

We, we, it's hard. I don't know again so silent, he is the co-founder in CEO, we probably should explain this thing, so he's our founder and CEO and he couldn't come because too busy doing real work.

Things. Yeah, real work. Yeah. No. The rest of our founder's there. We are nine founders in Shakers.

Nine founders.

Nine founders. It's more like opening a club than opening a startup.

It's appropriate because your social game is sort of like a club.

Yeah, that's what we're doing and our offices are located in ex-nightclubs instead of, so we're trying to.

Have you guys looked at the Tel Aviv room, yet to see how the reaction is in there? Ever since we've been onstage, I said before you and I swallowed some paint and you still can't talk.


Couple of times.

They're really excited, I'm sure, right?

What time is it? in Tel Aviv right now.

It depends. What time is it now?

Eight o'clock.

Eight o'clock. Your six AM in the morning. Everybody in the offices. Waiting. Happy. And we're so happy to be here.

Are you guys going to create the Disrupt comp as an in-game item? Is it a game? Is not a game, is a social experience or something, right?

It's not a game, it's a utility for social experience which will become a platform.

Well you're still going to put that in the game somehow or that experience?

After this interview we have to now, we have no choice Alright hopefully you keep the TechCrunch room open indefinitely. It'll remain open.

For the user, we will do anything we can to help people network and and win the next cup after that.

Nice And how long ago did you guys started working on Shaker, how long is it been in the works?

So the company opened a little bit over a year ago But it has been the idea and the underlying infrastructure had been developed for a long time before, when we were in our home actually. All of the founders, almost, live in the same apartment building in Tel Aviv, so that's where we started.

So what's next? You guys are, are you going to head back to.

We have other ideas.


Other ideas, we try that and we'll go to the next startup probably. What's next? Next is to open the offices here in San Francisco. We just relocated. Andy is in the our New York office and we'll be in this office, Adam will be coming and other founders will be joining us, you'll see probably, have the rest of the founders there build a development thing.

We have a lot of challenges now, we need to support iPad, we need to get into the mobile, we need to support other technologies. What?


Android, obviously.

You don't need to support that. Come on. Let's be honest. You don't really need that.

We want to support that.

Android users aren't social.

We're supportive.

What there was news today from Facebook, you know. I don't know if you guys saw. I know you were wrapped up in the whole thing. But they introduced kind of their follower model. So that kind of, you know, makes things a little more interesting for you guys even maybe potentially with, you know, given the avatar status of everyone.

You know, you've got the friends, you've got the friends of friends, but now you have this new little element introduced. Is that something, you know, you're going to look into right away? Is that a...?

No doubt about it.


Shaker is more than just friends of friends. Shaker is people that interest you and the tools that Facebook and other social networks will give us, you know, to better understand who interests you, we'll use them and we'll...

It's weird that this happen today.
It seems like perfect for what you guys are doing though kind of...


... you know, it's a whole new social layer that's actually defined that can really help the product.

Yes, I told Mark that this is a good day to announce Yes.


You listen.

Good that they listen. Yeah. Perfect.

Yeah. They're nice guys and all.


Well, we are so happy for you. Congratulations and we're looking forward to seeing you in the next Disrupt handing off the cup to the next winner.

We're looking forward to it, it's a little broken in heavy, we'll handle with it.

I think it's supposed to be like that.


But it's a feature not a bug.

To our audience Thank you so much for joining us over the past few days, and onto China. We'll see you there.

Just moments after they won the Disrupt Cup, co-founders of Shaker sat down to talk with the TechCrunch team.

Flipboard CEO Mike McCue On What’s Ahead

Hi. This is Alexia Tsotsis from TechCrunch and I am here with Flipboard CEO, Mike McCue, and you just got done talking with TechCrunch Editor in Chief now.


Erik Schonfeld.

Congratulations that's pretty amazing.

It's amazing. About flipboard has hit three point five million downloads in a year and two months.


Just about, and you are at five hundred and fifty million flips. So what is a flip? Lets talk about this.

A flip is basically, every time you flip the page on flipboard, that's a flip.

So that counts as a page? So flipboard is starting from like the ground up in terms of changing this model. Is that a page view? How does that fit in?

I guess it's sort of in some ways you could think of it as a page view, but the interesting thing is that page views are both an interesting way to measure engagement just like flips are, but also, you have to be careful over that too because, you know, one of the things that we wanna be careful not to do is recreate the whole phenomenon of the web, companies just trying to generate more page views, to put more ads in front of users.

So, I like the Flip metric as an engagement metri. It shows me how people are, how people are navigating through content on the board.

But I'm always a little cautious about it too because it's not like it's analogous to a page view. In other words it's not like we're going to put an ad on every single one of those flips.

Got it. Yeah, I used to be a web editor. And I feel like web content took a turn for the worse when people basically imposed...


a magazine's ad model onto the web viewing experience.


And then ramped it up Right.



And then tried Gameit.

Right, that's unfortunate.

Which made everything into a slide show.


And like a slow loading web page.

Exactly. And I think that's one of the things we're really trying to leverage the fact that the iPad creates a fresh start for things and one of the things that I'd like to try to do actually, is to start to have a metric more based on amount of time spent per article. Do we know whether people actually read the entire article or not?

Do we know how much, did people find the article interesting or not? So that's actually something that as I've been reflecting on our Flips metric, I've been realizing "yeah that's good".

It's a cool metric to report but at the same time, if you have really interesting content, you're should in theory, have less flips, because people are going to be spending time reading that content, right? So I've been looking more recently at amount of time spent in the app and spent reading certain sections in the app or certain articles, and looking for a way to kind of have easy to understand metric around that.

Well, how do you convince, because I know that Flipboard 1.5 has these amazing ads. Great, like magazine style, full page.

Full pages ads. Right.

How do you convince advertisers that the metric that they've been focused on for so long is actually kind of bogus and that what they really should focus on is like time spent or something else?

Well, you know, that's an excellent point. We are in a new world with the I-pad, but you know, coming back to what we were talking about with Erik, in many ways, what we think is that the magazine model, the traditional print magazine model was actually a great model. The idea of a full page ad, you know, sold against a rate base and that users like those ads if you buy Vogue you buy it often times for the ads.

If you're into Mountain Biking Magazine, you're mountain biking, you get Mountain Biking Magazine, those ads are part of the experience, we want those ads in the magazine. So, I'd like to get to the point where we can actually get a little retro and have some of that greatness of the magazine ad and make its way onto the web and onto internet content.

So, that's what something we're aiming for.

Can you talk a little bit about the partnerships you're doing with the media companies and which partners you think specifically lend themselves toward retro ad model of the ads being not part of the content because everyone wants at least semblance of separation of church and state.



Right. You have to be able to tell the difference. Well, Conde Nast is one of our partners here. We announced a deal with them recently and they are selling ads against their publications on Flipboard, and they're magazine style full page ads. American Express is one of the advertisers which advertise in the New Yorker on Flipboard and, and they 're selling those ads basically as an extention to their print circulation and their print ads.

There's a reason why the ads are relatively static. They They're meant to be basically, the print ad you know, repurposed for the I-pad, and it's meant to appear instantly, and not have to wait for the ad to load, or cause of significant amount of download time and use up a bunch of cycles to download the ad.

You know, we wanted to have something that was very quick, very magazine like so Conde is out now selling those ads against their content, their doing a great job with that.

I assume that, I'm one those people that reads the career ads.


You know, it's basically Vogue is basically like, American Vogue is like rich women's shopping catalog. Like who reads Vogue for the articles, really?

Right, right.

People in New York.

Exactly, exactly. And I think, I think this applies onto a lot of the very vertical magazines. It's, you know the ads are part of the experience and people actually like them. And so, that hasn't happened on the web you know. and I think that's a shame. I think that also has a lot to do with the form factor of the web, and the way the web has evolved as a both a technology and a user experience.

It's very hard to do a full page ad on the web because you have to do it as a pop up.

The web isn't paginated, it doesn't operate in units of pages. It operates in units of websites, and big long scrolling web pages. And that is something that I think has an opportunity to evolve, and have that kind of rhythm of page-by- page-by-page, laying content out beautifully across those pages and putting full page ads in the mix to make it flow well.

I think that's a big opportunity.

So what are we going to see in FlipForward 2.0?

Well, that is very much a work-in-progress right now and we're really excited about both some of the things that will be required from Alerdale. this social relevancy technology is very important to the noise, the amount of information coming at you now is so significant. Being able to sift through that and find the signal is incredibly important and becoming more and more important everyday.

So that's going to be key. Also you'll see us start to move to other platforms. For example, the iPhone is up next and we're putting the finishing touches on that release now and we're really excited about that.

Awesome, so am I.

Mike McCue, CEO of Flipboard explains what a ‘flip’ is and what’s next for iPad tablet reader. Find out if an iPhone version is on the roadmap.

Going Crazy With A Camera In Startup Alley

Hello, I'm Mike Butch here with Tech Crunch Europe and we're here in Startup Alley and this is the place where people are really trying to hock their wares and get their word out to the venture capitalists and angel investors. Tech Crunch Disrupt, 2011.... there's two and a half thousand people. Ladies and gentlemen, let's go, let's find out who all these people are?

So come follow me. Come on John, right! Over here we've got a start-up I think called Eave. Now, Eave is a kind of mobile start-up, so let's hear from them.


Hi, we're Eave, were a location based social network. Sorry ... we have a lot of people to take pictures based together based on their location. So what happens, you can start an Eave for a housewarming party or when you're at a dinner with friends. You start an eave which is a temporary location based network and everybody at the same location can join your eave and participate by contributing by taking pictures together.

So when someone...

So it's a little bit like [xx].
I think you got 41 million dollars?

No, we don't have any 41 million dollars.

What a shame!

So basically it's a little bit like [xx] but it's way easier and more convenient to use and it's simple and fun. So what we see is basically that people share pictures and tell the story of their event Can we have a quick look at it?

Yeah sure, it's a mobile app so we have it here. So basically you have a discovered feature that allows you to discover eaves based on your location. I started an eave this morning for Disrupt and basically you can have, you see all the pictures that have been created collaboratively by the people here at this...

it seems pretty ideal for conferences then.

It is working for conferences actually very, very well. So people can basically share what's going on... some of them on feed and then also find out who is there in WiFi. Okay so basically like we have 6 people participating here today and I can start following people, find their [xx] and see their Twitter handle.

And it's out in the app store right now?

It is on the app store, its invite only so far, but you can request an invite through our application, [xx] on our website.

So tell us what's the actual end game?

The actual end..

Is a billion dollars better than a million dollars, what's the end game here? How does this turn into a billion dollar company?

Basically we believe that there is a need for a mobile network, for, for basically a social network tailored to mold the needs. So we want to just help people share what they're doing together, based on their location, once they're out and about. Well, thank you very much, Eve. Now, ladies and gentlemen, there's lots and lots of companies and it's impossible to go through them all.

We're just going to try to pick some out. So if you just follow me, we're thoughts. Another company over here called Adaptsome. So Adaptsome very much following the theme of mobile companies here at TechCrunch and tell us all about it, who are you?

I'm from Daptson.

So tell us what is Daptson?

Daptson, adapt is a fist bump, and basically we're building a, thank you, platform. Thank you, platform. So if someone helps you out or does something awesome, you can give him.

Is it like a Facebook like or something?

Is kind of an upgraded like for people and we're building the biggest reputation platform a feedback system online. We're starting our mobile but we're actually gonna release our website soon and we're trying to get as many companies as possible into the company.

So what sort of thing do I dap? What do I dap on the mobile? Let's have a little look. Oh my god, it's a dap. Oh, please don't tell anybody about that. Come over here. Give us a demonstration of the application.

So the app, so I'm hoping the WiFi will be fast enough. Basically you can write who you're dapping; you can tell them what for. We're looking at your Facebook friends or anyone on Twitter. You can dap your friend on Twitter or you can dap Barrack Obama. And where you are, you're at a a picture, say what it involves, that's it, if you send it out to everywhere, to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare.

It's very quick and easy. What's in for me? Why would I dap anyone? why even bother?

People do it all the time. I don't know about you, but I always show my appreciation to people. If someone helps me out I tell them on Facebook, I write them an e-mail, I call them up, I do it on Twitter. You keep mentioning people that do awesome stuff because everyone wants to know about it. That's it!

There you go. Well it's a world full of peace and love and Daps'em. Thank you very much Daps'em. So, next stop we've got over here a company coming from France, I think possibly, ShopCade. We're going to have a little demonstration in here. Here's Natalie from ShopCade, tell us what ShopCade's all about.

So as you knew, it's a social shopping app.It's built in Facebook. It's launching in a few weeks and essentially it allows you to create your own personalized Amazon, a store on Facebook, so you can shop for your friends, from your friends. You can also sell and recommend them stuff, make cash whenever you sell or you buy.

And so we have fifteen thousand brands. We're launching in the US; that's why I'm here. At the moment we're in private beta. Watch stores, app stores, text stores, fashion stores, so you have girls doing high heel stores, and this is explaining how the products work, how you can share stocks. So it's a little demo video.

What I would like, is once you launch, I would love to get you a school product demo.

Yes, well, of course. You might have to pitch the journalists on TechCrunch. We're quite strict about this thing, but thank you very much Natalie. You're actually, you're not inexperienced, you've actually done a start-up before. Tell us about that quickly.

OK, so I started when I was 25, a company call PriceMinister. It's like the French Ebay.

Which was in the press recently because?

We sold to Rakuten for three hundred twenty million US dollars, so it was a big deal in Europe, the biggest e-commerce transaction but this is bigger.

And here you are doing another start-up, good for you.

Yeah, it's social commerce There is a huge gap in the market. Nobody is tackling the every day purchase, because the big thing is that in traditional commerce, you use clicks and purchases OK, but this is based on your needs and your social graph. It's much more powerful.

Well there you go. Entrepreneurs, you can't keep entrepreneurs down even though they do so for hundreds of millions of dollars. Thank you very much Natalie. Our final company we're going to check in on is-- a thing about Startup Alley and the whole thing about TechCrunch Disrupt is it's incredibly international.

People come from all over the world to exhibit here, to talk to adventure capitalists in Silicon Valley. And we have here a chap I think has come all the way from Russia. So tell us aboutyou. You are obviously from Russia. I can see that by your hat.

So yeah, I am from Russia.

Tell us your name.

I'm Dan, nice to meet you. And what's your startup?

The startup is treasure hunting in real life, well I'm sorry.

You can do it mate, go for it.

So treasure hunting real life: you bet real money on the tasks, you complete them with several people at the same time and you can win the whole stock. And the person who made the quest also wins money.

So how does it work? You've got a new quest up there, you've got hints, questions.

Yeah, you basically create quests, you add the tasks to it. Find Errington, find the code on his t-shirt. So we're going to have to hunt him down.

The unplagued blogger code?

Yeah So basically it's a real-world augmented-reality game.

Right. It's not just close to the internet as every other company right now.

Very much following the mobile scene there. Thank you very much Chris Lee all the way from Russia. So there's Mike Butcher from TechCrunch Startup Alley signing off. Over to the studio.

Sarah Lacy described these segments tweeting “Mike Butcher is delightfully manic in start up alley.” Find out what she was talking about from the ever surprising Mike Butcher. There are two additional video segments within the post.

Shervin Pishevar Discusses His $20 Million Talent Fund

What is up with $20 million funds? Should I announce my $20 million fund?

$20 million is the new 2 billion, I guess.

So now it's cool?

Yeah, it's cool. You know whats cool. No. We're super excited. So we just announced the Menlo Talent Fund. And we're gonna have twenty million dollars earmarked for the early stage see-it fund when, you know, people just have a dream and it's you know, they're just starting And their idea and their company and it's you know a few people and you know when it comes down to it our philosophy at Menlo is that we invest in people and we believe that people are the greatest asset class and we want to find the greatest talent in the world.

Guys like Huber boy, who's like to me, you know, one of my idols, and uber like You know, mentor to amazing companies. He's joining our jedi council of entrepreneurs. So, Troy Carter Who's like the king of talent, who's, he manages Lady Gaga, he's joined out Jedi Council of entrepreneurs.

Alright. Jedi Council. Can you talk a little bit about the Jedi Council.

Well, that was the first movie I ever saw as a kid. And it's become for me and a lot of other entrepreneurs a kind of the mythology of you know seeking excellence and the power that's within all of us. So you know that's the idea is that We want to, you know, the fellow ones and the Jedis, and you know, have a council of incredible people sharing knowledge with each other.

So the first gathering we're doing of the Jedi council is in Cabo. So, we're gonna take

Is this a fund or like a?

No, it's a, a friend of mine has a place there that's you know, there, right on the beach. So, we're gonna go You know, and just for a weekend and hang out and learn from each other. Imagine like guys like Troy and Keith and all the lessons that you can learn from each other. And, the ideas that we are going to invest, you know, fifty-thousand, hundred thousand dollars, at a time, all the way up to one million dollars, were going to make those decisions.

24 to 72 hours, as fast as possible. Each partner can make up to 250,000 silver bullet decisions a year and then from there we just need two partners to meet with you to see the idea and we can make the decision on the spot to do up to 250 thousand. Is there anything specific that this Jedi council is looking for in an early-stage start-up?

We're just looking for, like, brilliance. You know? We're looking for beautiful minds, we're looking for people who want to change the world. We want to look for people who move us with their idea, with their pure brilliance and talent and that's why it's called the Monlow Talent Fund. This is really about people, it's about the greatest entrepreneurs that you can find.

You don't have to proven yourself to get funding from the Menlow Talent fund. So, it's a big deal for us because Menlow, we have a four hundred million dollar fund.

You're not really known for early stage investments.

Yeah. Menlow hadn't done these kinds of seed deals before. So it's a big change and, you know, kudos to my partner. this is something we've been talking about for a while and we kicked it off. And we've already done eight investments in Amazing, amazing companies.

Tell me a little bit about the companies your investing in.

So, one of them was Backplaine, so. Its the. The Lady Gaga, social network.

Lady Gaga is one of the co-founders, and so is Troy Carter. And the, kind of the founding team of Palantir so it's just couldn't ask for like the most amazing people you could find. So we made a you know a quick you know A 24 hour decision we are in, and we are backing them along with a number of other investors like you know Eric Schmidt's fund and Google ventures and others and along with Menlo Well, its all in fun.

So, there's a company called Comprehend, Pars which are YC companies that we really believe in. Pars is for mobile. apps and, you know, we think the world of them. And I come from the mobile background, so I think they're gonna do incredibly well. Rebbecca's company.

I'm really excited about it. Can you tell?

I'm so excited about it. Yeah. So, I mean, this is like a dream come true for me.

So, explain what Cake Health does. I mean, what does Cake Health and Back Plain--so Cake Health is a mint for health. All right?

Yeah, that's the fastest way you can understand it, yeah, exactly. It's for transparency for health plans, and being able to have a mint for all of the health plans, and your costs and everything else, and that's just incredibly hard to find right now. Rebecca is the perfect example of what we're talking about in terms of, like, finding an incredible human being as, who inspires you, who is a leader, like, you know, before she started a company, I always said to myself, "Like, man, it would be amazing to back her up." And those are the type of people we are looking for, were looking for, people that, even without a company, or idea, like, we know, that they're amazing and we want to back them.

And as soon as they say "Hey, I want to do something" we're like, "We're here for you."

So she presented on stage, yes? Yeah What does something like KCalc which is like a build and sell start-up, so's Backplane, but what does something like KCalc have in common with something like Backplane, which is backed by Lady Gaga?

It's got this proven star power of the Pallintir founders. What's the unifying factor for Menlo Ventures in the decision making process, to invest in both of those companies?

That's a great question, and the unifying force, if you will.

The force.

The unifying force is talent. I mean Rebecca, Lady Gaga, like they, you know, the Palantir Team, you know, Joe, all those guys, Alex, like, you know, Troy. They are, I mean, they move you with their talent. They inspire you with their talent and that's what this, at the core of the venture capital business and investments is about people, is about backing incredible people.

And as I said, the people are the greatest asset class. For me, that's like a dream come true. Like I feel like Santa Claus. It's the greatest job in the world, to be able to interact with people who move your heart and soul who dream of a better world. And they come to you if their passion and they want to change the world.

And it's a blessing to be a part of their journeys.

Do you think it's easy spot brilliance? In a period of 24-48 hours.

Yea, I mean so you know. I think part of it is also like the greatest referrals that I've ever gotten, because I I was doing angel deals, I started four companies. I started doing angel deals, and invested in forty deals. The best referrals I ever got was from other amazing entrepreneurs. Like if Keith comes to me and says, you know, Keith Rabois, if he says this company is amazing or this entrepreneur is amazing, you know that that person is amazing.

He would never BS you. Like you know that. And so those kinds of filters, those bands of gold that you have in your life. Whether they're friends or colleagues or whatever. When you have that kind of filter, it's incredibly, like infinitely valuable. Because it contracts time and space. Like you can get through all of the clutter and go straight to the band of gold there is in the world and find them.

How many more, so you did eight start ups in eight weeks. This is some kind of like speed.

I was joking I don't know if anybody got it, but we were moving at ludicrous speed, which is space balls. So we are going to fly.

Are you doing one start-up a week?

So that's you know the thing about that was that we had a backlog of companies that you know we've been talking into the 4. So as soon as we could kick off the program, we had a bunch of amazing deals we wanted to be a part of. So, it's not necessarily like the pace is It's probably going to average out to something other than that, but who knows it's a matter of like just discovery.

And it's a discovering process, and my partners at Menlo are amazing and they're being incredible supportive. We're all working together to find these companies and multiple deals have been found with multiple different partners. So really is a team effort and we're being open-minded and we're going into new territory.

And we hope to discover some amazing ideas and hopefully the next Facebook or Google, or, you know, incredible companies in there

Shervin Pishevar and his Menlo Ventures has $20 Million to invest in startups. Companies that are accepted will receive between $50k and $125k. Find out what he is looking to fund.

How Instagram Has Stayed Nimble As They Approach 10 Million Users

I am MG Siegler with Tech Crunch TV I am here with Kevin Systrom who is the co-founder and CEO of Instagram. Is the company still Instagram or is it Bourbon, I mean. What's the technical over company?

Yeah, it's Bourbon Inc.

It's Bourbon Inc.

Yeah, we still haven't changed it, which is you know whatever.

Are you going to change it?

We're holding I don't know it's like, it's a bit of our history.

When did Twitter change to obvious is the question. I'm sorry when did obvious turn to Twitter. Whatever. Then went back to obvious. Yeah, I don't know, but yeah. So.

The point is I think eventually we will change it. People keep asking us if we're gonna work on other apps because we'd keep the Bourbon name and I'm pretty sure is going to be the thing we work on until the end.

Okay, so you were just on stage, you were the panel I think about lean start ups technically talking about that. Instagram is kinda the prototypical lean start up right? I mean how how many people are you now?

Yeah, so we're six.

You're six. I mean that's a lot of users per, how many engineers are there even? There are three of us on the engineering team, but I count myself as a half an engineer because I spend my day being a CO. You know, I think it the lean ideology can be misconstrued to mean that you want to stay small.


I think it just means you want to stay nimble and, honestly, what we've done is try to stay as nimble as possible. Part of that has been Instincts Mall and hiring the best people we can find. But you know I think as you'll see in the coming months we'll start hiring much more quickly. We now have a full-time recruiter on staff.

Our goal is to hire the best people in the world such that we can You know, move more nimbly and make sure that we stay, you know, ahead of everything.

Is that kind of the hierarchy? bring ideas you're thinking of is it mostly on the engineering side? Or are you going to do you know,BD people kind to get partnerships out there things Great question. We are very focused on being an engineering driven company. The opportunity as an engineer right now to work at is to work on one of the most quickly scaling new social Networks out there, were doing stuff in mobile that people haven't done before and I think it's an awesome opportunity for people who want to come on and really face that challenge with us.

And as part of that, I think, you know, it means that we'll end up hiring mostly engineers. We do have, you know, an awesome community team and awesome recruiter, and I'm the one, you know, half engineer half GNA, so.

Right. So, how many. How many users are you up to now? What, what are you at?

So registered users, we have, just south of ten million, which is pretty exciting, for us, given that, we haven't even hit our one year anniversary. Right, when is that, October?

It's October 6th. Yeah. Yeah. We'll definitely, we'll have an interesting time on October 6th, celebrating one year. It's crazy how time has flown. But it's also crazy how much has happened in just a year.

And you know one of the things I overheard Eric saying on stage was kinda talking about the metrics. But use of vanity metrics and stuff and I know you've kind of some interesting thoughts on that. It's like the way we were talking a little bit earlier about how facebook talks about 30 day actives in their things and, you know, how do you guys do that, how do you put numbers out there?

You know, there's internal metrics and I think there's external metrics. You know, external metrics, I think it's up to the company to decide how to, you know, present themselves to the public. Any small start-up is trying to get as much press as possible because they want to get their name out there.

Right. The big guys like Facebook I think can afford to you know talk about how they have five hundred million monthly active users. That's awesome, right? We're still in our growth phase, and we're still trying to figure out the product. But the advice I would give to entrepreneurs is internally you need to make sure to focus on active users and that's what we do at Instagram.

We very much pay attention to how many people are posting per day. How many people are opening it up and checking it right. Right. Those are the metrics that matter to us internally. And I think actually going a step further it's actually those in cohorts over time. So the people who signed up in the first month, are they still using it today, right?

Yeah, right.

Because often in social start-ups what you'll see is that people will sign up, use it for a couple months and then never use it again. But you have this weird effect where, because the sign-up rate is so high, your active users seems to stay pretty level.


So it's a re- revolving door effect, and I think what you have to do internally is make sure that you understand the health of your start up from day one that cohort over time and continue looking at that and compare cohorts.

One final thing I wanted to bring up. That reminds me a bit of there was a meeting at Twitter last week and Dick was was talking about the usage of twitter and how its kind of evolved over time and its not so much just about people tweeting and they're not even looking at it like that anymore. Its about people watching the tweets and kind of experiencing that it seems like that's kind of something that could apply to Instagram too because it's not always just people posting pictures, but it's also the viewing of them.

How do you guys view that? It's like how do you measure success in that way.

Actually I think you bring up the exact point I want to stress. Which is it all depends on how your company measures success. Our company, I think, is very much focused on people posting but, also, it's completely fine and you can be a great citizen of Instagram, right, by coming in and viewing other peoples photos and liking them and commenting.

I think the most important thing is that people come in and they have a great time and they see content they wouldn't have seen otherwise. we're somewhere in between I think a Twitter and something like a YouTube where you know the participation in terms of production. Right. Much less, but were not solely concerned on people posting photos, but it's amazing to see how many people, who don't consider themselves photographers.

Use Instagram to post everyday right? And that's what excites us, but at the end of the day we are looking at both.

Alright well Kevin thanks a lot for giving us time.


MG Siegler asks Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom how they manage their fast growth.

Facebook Co-Founder Dustin Moskovitz on Asana

Hi, I'm Lena Row. We're back stage here at TechCrunch Disrupt and I'm sitting with Dustin Moskowitz, co-founder of Facebook and Founder of Asana.

I'm Co-founder of Asana, actually.

You're Co-founder! I'm sorry, sorry to your co-founder. I really wanna talk about Asana because it's tackling a subject that I happen to write a lot about - collaboration software - and adding a sort of social management aspect to the enterprise. You know, there's some other players out there. There's Yammer, there's Jive, there's 37signals, a lot of companies are tackling this.

What is Asana doing that's going to change the game a little bit?

Sure. There is a couple of different areas. One is we just are actually innovating on the basic paradigm. And I think a lot of the other companies, especially in the task and project management space, are basically, you know, porting that's existed on the desktop for the past 10 or 20 years to the web and saying, "This is the new software, and please enjoy it." And Asana, I think, has stumbled onto a system that we think works quite a bit better.

And two of the sort of key attributes on what differentiates us: one was speed. I mean that in a sense that, you know, we care very much about sort of minimizing the time from a user having a thought that they want to represent in the system and actually getting it recorded. So what you see with most of the other systems is that they're just cumbersome enough and sort of have enough friction that people see them as a chore they have to do at the end of the day.


So they keep some other sort of task list and notepad file, or sort of stickies on their monitor, or just leave tasks, leave emails in their inbox. And that's they way they do personal task management. And then some, you know, product manager or somebody who's sort of guilt-tripping them at the end of the day and saying "Please synchronize this to the wiki so everybody else can, you know, the wiki or the project management systems that everybody else can make use of it and see what you're doing." and Asana is fast enough that people see it as the primary way they organize themselves.

It's the source of truth for their own tasks, and it is also easy to share that information with everybody else.

Well, I'm really fascinated because you're basically now adding some consumer social interactions to the enterprise and that's really where the enterprise is going and you need to replicate that in business functions. So we're really excited. When are you guys going to debut to the public? You're in private soon.

Were you in private right now?

Yeah, so we actually have quite large private data right now. And we've basically just been working through some pent-up demand that has been occurring over the months and as soon as we're done with that we'll open up to the rest of the world. But it's actually, especially if you're in the valley, you just need to find somebody to give you an invite.

I have to find someone to get me an invite. I'm in Chicago but I need to still find someone.

You found me. I'll help you out.

Okay, awesome. Alright, thanks Dustin. I appreciate it.

Facebook Co-Founder and Asana Co-Founder Dustin Moskovitz tells Leena Rao how his new company is going to be another game changer.

All the Disrupt videos, including the Hackathon presentations, can be found on TCTV’s Disrupt Video Gallery.

Company: Flipboard
Funding: $60.5M

Flipboard is a digital social magazine that aggregates web links from your social circle, i.e. Twitter and Facebook, and displays the content in magazine form on an iPad.

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Company: Shaker
Launch Date: September 19, 2011

Shaker brings social networks to life by allowing people to interact in real time in a shared environment, making the online social experience of hanging out with friends and meeting new people, feel natural finally.

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Financial-organization: Menlo Ventures
Launch Date: January 1, 1950

At Menlo Ventures, we invest in entrepreneurs that Think Big. We seek passionate teams with big ideas that can disrupt existing industries or create entirely new markets. Our track record over the past 32 years of helping companies achieve market leadership through great strategy and great execution speaks for itself: over 300 companies, creating tens of billions of dollars in market value and hundreds of thousands of jobs. As a member of the Menlo portfolio, your company becomes part of...

Learn more
Company: Instagram
Launch Date: September 19, 2011
Funding: $7.5M

Instagram is a photo sharing application for the iPhone. It allows you to quickly take pictures, apply a filter, and share it on the service or with a number of other services. The team behind it is also behind Burbn, a location-based service that works with HTML5-compatible web browsers.

Learn more
Company: Asana
Launch Date: September 19, 2011
Funding: $10.2M

Asana builds enterprise-level collaboration software, or a Collaborative Information Manager. It was founded by Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook, and Justin Rosenstein, an alum of both Facebook and Google. For their software, Asana is developing an in-house programming language called Lunascrip

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Companies: Facebook, Asana

Dustin Moskovitz is a co-founder of Facebook and, more recently, Asana, a startup tackling the problem of workplace collaboration. At Facebook, he was a leader in the technical staff, where he oversaw the major architecture of the site. He was also responsible for the company’s mobile strategy and development. Starting Facebook with founder Mark Zuckerberg from their dorm room, Dustin has been instrumental in the growth and development of the site since its inception. Dustin attended Harvard University as an...

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Comments Off on Six Must-Watch Backstage Videos From Disrupt Plus The Music (TCTV)


Jon Orlin

September 17th


It’s Time to Stop Washing Your Clothes in Hot Water [Psa]

Admit it. There are a bunch of you out there who still wash your clothes in hot water. Don't worry, I'm with you. But this just in: Stop. Use cold. Washing with hot wastes money, energy, and is bad for the environment. More »

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Kwame Opam

September 17th


OMG/JK: Sh*thead Lists, Touching On Windows 8, And A Goodbye To Mike

Screen Shot 2011-09-17 at 4.26.51 PM

Despite our busy week, Jason and I had the chance to sit down to do an episode of OMG/JK yesterday. We focused on a few key topics: Facebook’s new subscribe social option, their smart lists, the first Windows 8 developer preview, and TechCrunch Disrupt.

Obviously, it’s impossible to talk about Disrupt without mentioning Mike’s exit. So we address that at first, before going on to discuss the startups.

Below, find some relevant links to the things we talk about.

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MG Siegler

September 17th


This Stormtrooper Helmet Is Made Completely Out of Sneakers [Star Wars]

This helmet was made for Star Wars Remix out of actual Adidas Star Wars skate shoes. It's completely fit to wear. You can even buy it. I think I just might, too. More »

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Kwame Opam

September 17th


World War II-era Plane Crashes at West Virginia Air Show [Video]

Just a day after an air show crash took the lives of three nine people in Reno, Nevada, another plane went down during yet another air show. This crash took place during the Thunder Over the Blue Ridge show in Martinsburg, WV. More »

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Kwame Opam

September 17th


Miniature Evolta Robots Take on the Full-Sized Ironman Triathlon [Video]

Nothing can stop these little guys. Panasonic's Evolta battery-powered robots were already pretty impressive, but now they're going for a hat trick of endurance-testing awesomeness by taking on Hawaii's Ironman Triathlon later this Fall. More »

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Kwame Opam

September 17th


Does Google’s Own CEO Even Use Google+ Anymore? [Google+]

Here you see Larry Page's public Google+ page. And that he hasn't updated it in a month. Now, granted, he could very well be having a Plus Party for his Circles in there, but given the recent drop in public activity... Not a good look. [NetworkWorld] More »

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Kwame Opam

September 17th

September 2011
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