Posts tagged “funding”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] A History of the Future in 100 Objects by Adrian Hon [Kickstarter] – [I'm in! Who else will throw some cash at this kickstarter project, crowdsourced funding for some exciting research and writing?] Let's imagine it's 2100…What are the 100 objects that future historians will use to sum up our century? 'Smart drugs' that change the way we think? A fragment from suitcase nuke detonated in Shanghai? A wedding ring between a human and an AI? The world's most expensive glass of water, returned from a private mission to an asteroid? I want to write a weblog that will explore all of these ideas, with 100 posts for 100 objects. Along the way I'll produce a newspaper and a podcast, and when it's finished, I'll publish it as a book. But it's not just going to be about technology – I'm going to focus on the deeply human effects of our fascinating future, from religion to advertising to wars. I want to tell the story of individuals, families, countries, and the human race, as we venture from 2011 to 2100.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Miro Adoption Center: Adopt of a Line of Code – This is a clever adaptation of a familiar community funding approach (i.e., highways) to open-source software:
    "Adopt a line of source code for just $4 a month, and together we can keep Miro alive and growing! You’ll receive a customized page and widgets that display your line of code. Even a little photo of your new buddy, and its personalized name!"

Frames of Reference at the Zoo

A morning at the Santa Barbara zoo reveals some interesting frames and reframes.

Donors to the zoo are “Foster Feeders”, a more nurturing and sustaining view of how cash ends up as food.

Adding a card to a parking meter is an attempt to present the payment-for-service device as a donation opportunity. It’s a bit of a leap and maybe not the right connotation for the zoo’s purposes.

You could pay to ride with a plastic giraffe, or you could gaze upon a real one.

Even the benches are up for sponsorship. Here’s a plaque-hole which may simply be a lack of maintenance but gently offers the possibility of Your Name Here.

On display at a new exhibit: Man.

Cockroaches made all the more frightening when a puppeteer-like hand enters the frame to flip them over, pluck out the dead ones, and drop off some food.

Everyone gets the chance to be a zoo animal!

Under the Radar: video startups

Under the Radar is a showcase of early-stage innovation. Events feature several companies in one sector presenting to a panel of VC judges. Judges and attendees pick the company most likely to succeed and discuss the future of the presenting companies’ industry sector.

Last night I attended my first such event, hosted by Orange R&D. There were actually 7 companies, and the panel didn’t in fact make any overall picks.

Living and working in Silicon Valley means that I’m not immune from lingo like “burn rate”, “angel-funded”, “series-A”, “[something]-play”, “the eBay of [something]” and beyond, but this was my first formal in-depth exposure to this scene.

The companies shown were podaddies (dynamic video ad network), CastTV (video search), Veodia (enterprise video distribution), Nexage (video on mobile phones), Eyespot (editing/mashing up video on the web), ComVu (mobile video sharing), and OneCast (turnkey venue-based video).

The ideas were all very different and so some just were more easily explained than others, some were better presenters than others. Some were prepared to pitch to investors, others like CastTV were funded using money from their previous startup and there was an interesting comment about not wanting to bother with dealing with investors this time around. Isn’t that a sign of the latest dot-com economy; that companies can do a lot without millions of dollars?

Some folks were slick, some were slick but without merit (the video editing tool that was framed as telling stories since stories are important but offered nothing more than a way to butt clips together and overlay music – that’s not storytelling, sorry).

But the greatest part was the panel – it was a neat form of a crit, really. They asked great questions, shared their own concerns, picked on the weak, challenged the strong, and just emitted so much wisdom and experience (without much attitude) that I was very impressed. I mean, that’s the job of a venture capitalist, to be able to assess new companies based on having seen a million others, but for me to get to see that live and in the flesh was very neat.

There was little discussion of culture, or users; it was mostly about technology and markets, but that’s okay, I learned a bit just being part of it.


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