Survey: Facebook is the most stress-inducing social media site (and, paradoxically, the most positive)


This post is by John Koetsier from VentureBeat


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large_3378819836Facebook causes Americans more stress than any other social network. But it’s also the network with the most positive effect on our moods.

Leading VOIP and cheap call provider Rebtel asked 1,632 American adults what effects social networks had on them. In a classic can’t-live-with-it, can’t-live-without-it scenario, almost 20 percent of American adults said Facebook was the social network that has the “most negative effect” on their mood, and another 20 percent said it caused them the most stress.

However, Facebook is also the site that almost half of Americans said was the most positive.

In other words, Facebook is such a big part of our lives that our experience of the site pretty much mirrors our experience of life: sometimes our friends piss us off, sometimes they make us sad, but more often, they make us happy.

One thing that’s almost guaranteed to drive your friends nuts? Including them in status updates and location check-ins. 45 percent of us don’t like it when we appear in social media updates that others create, and 70 percent say that’s because they don’t like to broadcast their location.

LinkedIn, Twitter, and Youtube caused almost no stress, as did MySpace. In MySpace’s case, of course, that’s because no-one actually uses the site anymore. But the social media site that are the most positive are Instagram and Pinterest, with only .3 percent and .1 percent, respectively, saying they were stressed out by those services.

One other interesting data point the Rebtel survey highlighted is how social media makes us feel.

On days when we check into social accounts more frequently than normal, we’re typically bored. Of course … that might be the  reason we’re checking in in the first place. But on days when we’re checking in less frequently than normal, we’re typically feeling left out, like we’re missing out on something.

In other words, we’re addicted.

photo credit: Amir Kuckovic via photopin cc

Filed under: Business, Health, Lifestyle, Social, VentureBeat

Moon bases could be 3D-printed from lunar soil


This post is by Sam Byford from The Verge - All Posts


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3d printed lunar base

3D printers could be used to help construct lunar bases with materials taken from the Moon itself. The European Space Agency (ESA) is collaborating with architects Foster + Partners to conduct research into the construction technique, and has “confirmed the basic concept.” That concept involves mixing lunar material with magnesium oxide to form the base substance, then applying a binding salt that solidifies the material; inserting the printer’s nozzle beneath the moon’s surface allows for printing in a vacuum.

Continue reading…

FTC Chair Announces Resignation One Month After Settling Google Antitrust Case


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Jon Leibowitz FTC Chairman

FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz announced on Thursday that he will resign, one month after the agency reached a settlement with Google after a 20-month investigation into the tech giant’s alleged anticompetitive behavior. The resignation had been expected by antitrust lawyers since last summer and will take effect in mid-February. Leibowitz said that he plans to move to the private sector and will likely focus on competition policy and privacy.

“I felt like this was a good time to leave because we got through a number of things that I wanted the commission to address,” Leibowitz told the New York Times.

The FTC decided not to take any action in connection with the allegation that Google had used its algorithms to unfairly favored its own products over potential competitors, a move many companies and observers saw as letting the company “walk away scot free.”

Under Leibowitz, who served as a commissioner before commencing his two terms as chairman, the FTC also worked to expand the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and brought action against Intel for unfair business practices in the microprocessor market.

The New York Times says that Leibowitz’s successor will likely come from within the ranks of the FTC, with Democratic commissioners Julie Brill and Edith Ramirez seen as likely contenders.

And the winners are… Check out the best from the Crunchies 2012!


This post is by Meghan Kelly from VentureBeat


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Crunchies 2013

The Crunchies Awards are always a year-end highlight. They highlight the very best in technology innovation each year, and tonight we had the pleasure of bestowing that weird little money trophy out to your tech favorites.

We also got to watch John Oliver of The Daily Show fame make fun of Silicon Valley.

He started out giving the presenters advice on how to best deliver an acceptance speech: “Say thank you and leave.” He proceeded to tell us that his favorite technology innovation is the t-shirt cannon. Unfotunately, however, we had no t-shirt cannon representation at this year’s Crunchies, but we did have some fabulous companies. So, on to the winners!

Best Technology Achievement: Mars Curiosity

The little rover that could made it to Mars and captured our hearts on Twitter. We were honored to host Bobak Ferdowsi, otherwise known as NASA’s mohawk man who informed us that Curiosity is actually a lady! JPL, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA refers to all of its rovers as girls. Work that Crunchie Award, space-dust-collecting-girlfriend!

Best Collaborative Consumption: Airbnb

Airbnb is the Airbnb for, well, itself. The company that connects people with houses to people who who want to skip the hotel experience has grown into a force in the collaborative consumption industry. When it comes to letting people use their own crap to make money, they’re tops.

Best E-commerce Application: Fab

Fab really is just that. The company is aiming to make people flock to its inventory in the same way they flock to a magazine. And it seems to be working. Keep showing us how awesome our lives could be, Fab, we’re that close to buying a faux bear-skin rug from you.

Best Mobile Application: Google Maps

Thank you, Google Maps. You’ve helped us find our hotels on vacations, coffee shops on first dates, and even helped us get to the nearest bus station when either of those went horribly wrong.

Fastest Rising Startup: SnapChat

Whoops, did you see that hilarious congratulations picture of me shotgunning a beer while flipping the bird? Not anymore! Snapchat lets us send self-destructing photo and video messages for those all those times we just can’t help but embarrass ourselves.

Best Content Discovery Application: Pinterest

Pinterest could have just as easily won the biggest time suck award. People spend hours on end looking at wedding paraphernalia, recipes, or fashion, but those little rectangular pins really do help us find beautiful things in the vast, vast Internet.

Best Design: Paper by 53

53′s app Paper gives the digital back that wonderful paper feel. But while their gorgeous design brings out the artist in all of us, they haven’t been able to capture that great paper smell. Maybe they can start sending out paper-scent air fresheners with each app download in 2013.

Best Bootstrapped Startup: Techmeme

If you read this site, you probably know Techmeme. It’s the website we all flock to for our daily dose of what’s popping on the tech leaderboards. But though its webpages are filled with news about investors every day, the company remains self-funded. Well done, guys.

Sexiest Enterprise Startup: Box

“This is an amazing honor, I feel like Snapchat right now,” said Aaron Levie, the chief executive of Box, perfectly summarizing his company’s competitive advantage: a witty co-founder with a Twitter account. Of course, we kid. Box is much more than that. It competes directly with big cloud storage names like Dropbox and Google Drive, but maintains its scrappy integrity and, as you can see, sense of humor.

Best International Startup: Soundcloud

You want to share some music with your buddies, Soundcloud gives you a legit way to go about. It’s like a YouTube for sound and while it may be great for sending awesome music out into the world, you might want to check out John Oliver’s weekly The Bugle. We’ll let you discover that for yourself.

Best Education Startup: Codecademy

Codecademy wants to bring the sometimes elusive world of coding to everyone. Like any language, code is difficult to learn, but the company walks you through the process with the hopes that anyone can learn in their spare time. To drive this point home, Codecademy sent up a customer to accept the award. She announced that she’d quit her job after starting Codecademy classes in 2011 and was looking for a new one being, guess what? A programmer. Congrats on your success, Codecademy!

Best Hardware Startup – Makerbot

Next year we’re just going to print out awards for everyone. Why? Because 3-D printing makes it possible! It’s an awesome world when you can just press File-Print on a dishwasher repair piece or a missing chess piece and suddenly have it in your hands. Makerbot is bringing manufacturing home in this way, and we are glad to watch the printing revolution happen before our eyes!

Best Time Sink: Buzzfeed

Cats, cats, cats, dogs, 15 Best Ways to Clean Your Toilet Without Having to Clean Your Toilet, babies, cats, congrats.

Biggest Social Impact: Reddit

Believe it or not, Reddit is filled with more than just weird fan fiction, Imgur links, and great communities — it’s also filled with incredibly generous folks who are willing to gather together to give for a cause.

And Reddit says it has only two people to thank: the users and President Obama for coming to the site.

Best Angel Investor: Chris Dixon

Chris Dixon is an investor with Andreessen-Horowitz who invests in some awesome early-stage startups. He’s passed checks along to Skupe, Hipmunk, Kickstarter, and a number of other successful startups. Keep pointing us in the right direction, Chris, we like what you’re doing!

VC of the Year: Peter Thiel

Founder’s Fund managing director Peter Thiel has helped spawn a generation of entrepreneurs, and he continues to shape Silicon Valley’s future with smart, analytical investments that prove his ability time and again. He was an early investor in Facebook, and this year he helped grow Palantir into billion dollar data analysis giant.

Founder of the Year: Kevin Systrom

The surprise deal of the year was Facebook’s nearly billion-dollar acquisition of Instagram (subsequently revised to about $700 billion, given changes in Facebook’s valuation). That undoubtedly made Systrom one of the happiest founders. He’s also one of the cleverest, building Instagram from a simple photo-sharing app into one of the hottest new social networks.

CEO of the Year: Mark Zuckerberg

There really wasn’t any serious competition: With a successful (if controversial) IPO and a billion active users, Facebook owned 2012. Its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has shown a rare ability to transition from entrepreneurial founder to the leader of a large public company, translation vision into action and creating a uniquely developer-centric culture that has taken Facebook to the heights of social networking. Just 28 years old, Zuckerberg has already shown leadership far beyond his age. Just imagine what he’ll do with the next 10 years.

Best new startup of 2012: Coursera

More than 2.5 million people have taken university courses — from some of the world’s top educational institutions — through Coursera’s online education platform. That’s pretty impressive for a company that has been around less than a year.

Best overall startup: Github

A massive code repository and tool for helping coders share their work and collaborate on projects, Github has grown to become an indispensable part of the tech ecosystem. Its Crunchie reflects just how much of a difference it has made, from open-source projects to enterprise development and beyond.

And the nominees were…

Who were the winners above going up against? Here are the nominees in each category.

Best Technology Achievement

Felix Baumgartner’s Jump
Google Glass
Mars Curiosity
SpaceX docks with International Space Station
Tesla Supercharger Network

Best Collaborative Consumption Service

Airbnb
Get It Now/Postmates
Lyft
TaskRabbit
Uber

Best E-Commerce Application

Fab
Hotel Tonight
Karma/Facebook Gifts
Warby Parker
Zulily

Best Mobile Application

Evernote
Google Maps
Grindr
Instagram
Square

Fastest Rising Startup

Exec
Lyft
Pinterest
Snapchat
Stripe

Best Content Discovery Application

Flipboard
Instapaper
Pinterest
Prismatic
Tumblr

Best Design

Facebook Timeline
Medium
Paper by FiftyThree
Square
Svbtle

Best Bootstrapped Startup

FreshBooks
Instapaper
Nimbus
Techmeme
Upverter

Sexiest Enterprise Startup

Asana
Box
Cloudera
Plexxi
Zendesk

Best International Startup

Hailo
Rovio
Soundcloud
Spotify
Xiaomi

Best Education Startup

Codecademy
Coursera
Edmodo
Khan Academy
Udacity

Best Hardware Startup

Lit Motors
Lockitron
Makerbot
Nest
Raspberry Pi

Best Time Sink

Angry Birds Star Wars
Buzzfeed
Letterpress
Pinterest
WhatsApp

Biggest Social Impact

Donors Choose
Indiegogo
Kickstarter
Kiva
Reddit

Angel of the Year

Michael Arrington
Chris Dixon
Paul Graham
David Lee
Chris Sacca

VC of the Year

Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz
Matt Cohler
Jim Goetz
Michael Moritz
Peter Thiel

Founder of the Year

Nathan Blecharczyk, Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia (Airbnb)
Kevin and Julia Hartz (Eventbrite)
Elon Musk (SpaceX, Tesla)
Kevin Systrom (Instagram)
Nir Zuk (Palo Alto Networks)

CEO of the Year

Dick Costolo (Twitter)
Phil Libin (Evernote)
Marissa Mayer (Yahoo!)
Larry Page (Google)
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)

Best New Startup of 2012

Coursera
Crowdtilt
Lyft
Snapchat
Waze

Best Overall Startup of 2012

Fab
Github
Instagram
Palantir
Square

Crunchies image via TechCrunch/Flickr

Filed under: Business

John Oliver Talks T-Shirt Cannons And Slashfics As He Hosts The 2012 Crunchies


This post is by Darrell Etherington from TechCrunch


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Daily_Show_Press_Shot

John Oliver played host at the Crunchies tonight. He’s a funny guy who’s either British or an expert at pretending to be, and he’s on the Daily Show, Community and other things, so you might recognize him. Also even though he’s not a journalist, he pretends to be one, so how fitting is it that he hosted an awards show put on by a bunch of bloggers?

Oliver was hilarious as usual, and I think the best way to intro these clips from his time on stage is in his own words, so here are a couple comments Oliver made before the show in discussion with our own Colleen Taylor, who pressured him for a sneak peek at the material you’re about to see.

“The beauty is all you need to do is wait 15 minutes,” he said. “So there’s no need to ask for any tasters, we’re not doing this in two weeks, I’m literally about to do this right now […] Technology moves too fast; just wait. Technology has destroyed human patience. I’m about to do it!”

With that, check out some highlights of Oliver’s performance:



Finally, here’s a nice summary of why Oliver was such a good fit for hosting a tech awards show, in the words of the man himself:

I have almost no apps. I have so few apps that my wife’s niece laughed at me the other day. She laughed at me and then she was sad.

A month after Google settlement, FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz announces his resignation


This post is by Jeff Blagdon from The Verge - All Posts


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jon liebowitz (FTC)

Federal Trade Commission chairman Jon Leibowitz is resigning later this month. The chairman tells The New York Times that he expects to head to the private sector to focus on competition policy and privacy.

Leibowitz’s FTC recently concluded a nearly two-year antitrust investigation into Google’s business practices. The case culminated in a commitment from Google to stop scraping competitors’ sites for review content, but stopped short of including a binding consent order; a settlement that was criticized both within the FTC and by Google’s competitors for its (perceived) leniency.

Leibowitz pushed for privacy

During his two terms as chairman, Leibowitz pushed for privacy through initiatives like the W3C’s stalled Do Not…

Continue reading…

Congratulations Crunchies Winners! GitHub Wins Best Overall Startup


This post is by Matt Burns from TechCrunch


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IMG_1640

And like that, The 6th Crunchies Annual Award Show is in the bag. John Oliver provided a night of laughs while TechCrunch, GigaOm and Venture Beat jointly handed out 20 awards to the best and brightest startups, founders and venture capitalists.

The night started off with a bit of science as the Mars Curiosity netted the Crunchie for Best Technology Achievement. Then, Snapchat, the little app that’s a staple on every teenager’s smartphone, won Fastest Rising Startup. Tim Armstrong and Michael Arrington were all smiles as they handed Mark Zuckerberg the Crunchie for CEO of the Year. And as the startup world can attest, Chris Dixon rightly won the Crunchie for Angel Of The Year while Peter Thiel was awarded the Crunchie for VC Of the Year.

Congratulations to all the winners — on to 2013!

Best Technology Achievement (2011 winner: Siri)

Baumgartner Jump
Google Glass – runner-up
Mars Curiosity – winner
SpaceX docks with International Space Station
Tesla Supercharger Network

Best Collaborative Consumption Service (New for 2012)
Airbnb – winner
Get It Now/Postmates
Lyft 
TaskRabbit
Uber – runner-up

Best E-Commerce Application (New for 2012)
Fab – winner
Hotel Tonight
Karma/Facebook Gifts – runner-up
Warby Parker
Zulily

Best Mobile Application (2011 winner: Evernote)
Evernote – runner-up
Google Maps – winner
Grindr
Instagram
Square 

Fastest Rising Startup (New for 2012)
Exec
Lyft
Pinterest
Snapchat – winner
Stripe – runner-up

Best Content Discovery Application (New for 2012)
Flipboard – runner-up
Instapaper
Pinterest – winner
Prismatic
Tumblr (Related posts)

Best Design (2011 winner: Path 2.0)
Facebook Timeline
Medium
Paper by FiftyThree – winner
Square – runner-up
Svbtle

Best Bootstrapped Startup (2011 winner: Imgur)
FreshBooks – runner-up
Instapaper
Nimbus
Techmeme – winner
Upverter

Sexiest Enterprise Startup (New for 2012)
Asana
Box – winner
Cloudera – runner-up
Plexxi
Zendesk

Best International Startup (2011 winner: Peixe Urbano)
Hailo
Rovio
SoundCloud – winner
Spotify – runner-up
Xiaomi

Best Education Startup (New for 2012)
Codecademy – winner
Coursera – runner-up
Edmodo
Khan Academy
Udacity

Best Hardware Startup (New for 2012)
Lit Motors
Lockitron
Makerbot – winner
Nest
Raspberry Pi – runner-up

Best Time Sink (2011 winner: Words With Friends)
Angry Birds Star Wars
Buzzfeed – winner
Letterpress  – runner-up
Pinterest 
WhatsApp 

Biggest Social Impact (2011 winner: Twitter)
Donors Choose
Indiegogo – runner-up
Kickstarter 
Kiva 
Reddit – winner

Angel of the Year (2011 winner: Reid Hoffman)
Michael Arrington
Chris Dixon – winner
Paul Graham – runner-up
David Lee
Chris Sacca

VC of the Year (2011 winner: Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz)
Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz 
Matt Cohler
Jim Goetz – runner-up
Michael Moritz
Peter Thiel – winner

Founder of the Year (2011 winner: Jack Dorsey)
Nathan BlecharczykBrian CheskyJoe Gebbia (Airbnb)
Kevin and Julia Hartz and Renaud Visage (Eventbrite)
Elon Musk (SpaceX, Tesla) — runner-up
Kevin Systrom (Instagram) — winner
Nir Zuk (Palo Alto Networks)

CEO of the Year (2011 winner: Jeff Weiner)
Dick Costolo (Twitter)
Phil Libin (Evernote)
Marissa Mayer (Yahoo!)
Larry Page (Google) — runner-up
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) — winner

Best New Startup of 2012 (2011 winner: Pinterest)
Coursera – winner
Crowdtilt 
Lyft – runner-up
Snapchat 
Waze

Best Overall Startup of 2012 (2011 winner: Dropbox)
Fab
GitHub – winner
Instagram
Palantir – runner-up
Square 

Airbnb’s Brian Chesky: ‘We Used To Create Content Online. Now We Create Industries’


This post is by Ingrid Lunden from TechCrunch


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brian chesky airbnb

Airbnb was one of the trailblazers of the sharing economy, and so, when CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky today accepted the award for best collaborative consumption service — the first time the category has been a in the Crunchies — he dedicated the award to everyone: “I want to share this award with all of you,” he said.

Backstage, Chesky talked about how Airbnb was borne out of a particularly tight month when he and the other co-founders couldn’t make rent. “We started Airbnb before there was a shared economy, before the idea of collaborative consumption,” he recalled. People thought they were crazy. “Their response was, ‘Are you kidding me? Why are you even doing this?’… But I think people will look back on this time: before, people were able to create content. Now they can create industries.”

He notes that one of the company’s biggest challenges is to stay consistent as they continue to scale. “We now have thousands of travellers expecting a great experience every time,” he said.

Watch the full video below.



GitHub Wins The 2012 Crunchie For “Best Overall Startup”, May The Fork Be With You


This post is by Eric Eldon from TechCrunch


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IMG_1638

In case you weren’t sure that Silicon Valley had moved beyond from consumer web companies, take a look at the top five finalists for the best overall startup of 2012. Only one is even a purely consumer service — and Instagram’s photo-sharing app is mobile-oriented at that. Fab and Square respectively provide a marketplace for well-designed goods, and a real-world payment system for small businesses.

Our second-place startup of the year is Palantir, a company that started in 2004, that analyzes massive data sets for the government and large organizations.

And take a look at our winner, Github.

The company provides an version-controlled code repository for more than 3 million developers worldwide based on the “git” system established by Linus Torvald. A key advantage over existing versioning systems like CVS and Subversion is that sharing happens online, around unified code bases, rather than patches that get emailed around between community members and code administrators.

Any developer can quickly take existing open-source code and “fork” it over for their own uses. If they improve the code, Github lets them submit it back for the community. Social features encourage collaboration by letting users follow each other and see their work over time. The site doesn’t just make coding vastly more efficient, it lets individuals rise from obscurity to fame, and discover new jobs and new technical challenges to pursue. (Check out our Github overview piece for more.)

Now the company is going after the enterprise. It raised its first round of funding last year — a huge $100 million round from top VC firm Andreessen Horowitz at a reported $750 million valuation — to build services for companies looking to use and share back to its increasingly vast repositories. It has already helped enable a new era of web and mobile development, now it wants to bring the same productivity gains to businesses large, medium and small.

We’re delighted that such a centrally important company has taken home the biggest award this year, and we’re excited to see what it does from here on out.

 

Coursera Wins “Best New Startup Of 2012″, Get Schooled


This post is by Alexia Tsotsis from TechCrunch


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IMG_1628

It seems as if, in our particular slice of time, many spheres of industry are coming to a breaking point; Will we be focused on marginal costs and continue doing things the old way, or chuck existing systems and focus on the new? Government is one of these spheres, healthcare is another, so is transportation, and also education. TechCrunch is committed to accurately covering this tumultuous time, and providing a record of this zeitgeist for our readers and history.

That is why we picked Coursera as the 2012 Crunchies’ “Best Overall Startup,” because more than anything else our country is heading into a period where higher education and job training is not catching up with the pace of innovation, where the creative part of “creative destruction” has not yet overwhelmingly kicked in. And Coursera, which has opened up access to proprietary content, over 200 courses from over 33 top international and domestic schools like Stanford and Princeton, is one of the bright points of light pointing towards value and job creation in the creative space.

Over two million students have at some point taken a Coursera course. It remains to be seen whether the universities will continue to let Coursera proliferate with their intellectual property. And its main criticism is that the company currently has no clear way to monetize.

“That’s starting to change as Coursera beefs up its career services and adds the ability to earn certificates from taking its classes,” argues our education technology expert Rip Empson. “Next, it’s on the way to getting accreditation for courses so that taking classes online through its platform will count towards a degree — and there’s no reason they can’t charge for it, even if it means giving up ‘free’. Imagine being able to take a class at Harvard, get credit for it and not have to pay thousands to get it. That has serious disruptive potential.”

In the same space as  edX, Udacity, Instructure and 2U, Coursera is a two pronged approach to  democratization of education, not only offering access to high quality content for students that can’t afford it, but also by making professors look good, by empowering them to build their own audience. Coursera gives them the opportunity to build an audience outside of the classroom, allowing them to have 10,000 students instead of 50.

The runner up in this category is quirky ride-sharing startup Lyft.



Mark Zuckerberg Wins “CEO Of The Year” At The 6th Annual Crunchies


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IMG_1614

He navigated the company that he founded in his college dorm room to a $104 billion IPO, the biggest in the history of tech companies; then led it past one billion active users; and now he’s been named the CEO of the year at the 6th annual Crunchies: a big congratulations to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.

The award was presented earlier this evening at the Davies Symphony Hall by Mike Arrington of CrunchFund and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, before a sellout audience of 2,500, and an online audience of thousands more. Larry Page of Google was named the runner-up and the other nominees on the shortlist were Dick Costolo of Twitter, Phil Libin on Evernote and Marissa Mayer of Yahoo. A pretty strong list of tough competition.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Zuckerberg is nothing short of a tech icon. Facebook, as conceived of and led by him, has transformed how we as a culture share information about ourselves and the world.

As the site has grown, it has also taken that central premise into new dimensions — namely through the social graph and the Graph API that interlinks with so many of the services we like to use online and on mobile devices today. The growth of the company has come with a firm commitment to hacking and trying out new things all the time, which keeps things interesting.

But it has not always been plain sailing for Zuckerberg: with the IPO and subsequent life as a public company, has come increased focus on how Facebook makes money.

That’s a two-fold question: are its business models sustainable, and are its users always going to be cool with how their data gets used? (Some people, especially in Europe, are already complaining. A lot.) But even in this regard, you cannot deny that the Facebook juggernaut, as led by Zuck, has opened the door to a new kind of discourse about what it means to be a connected society.

Once again, a massive congratulations to Mark Zuckerberg.



Instagram’s Kevin Systrom Takes “Founder Of The Year” At The 2012 Crunchies


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IMG_1600

This year’s Crunchies saw Instagram founder Kevin Systrom take top honors for the “Founder of the Year” category, which is likely a safe pick considering what his company accomplished in 2013. He managed to grow his service’s user base and engagement to stunning levels, crossing 50 million users in May thanks to the addition of an Android client.

That growth likely led to the huge price tag paid for Instagram by Facebook when it came calling to purchase the mobile photo sharing service later on in the year. Facebook paid $1 billion for Instagram when it purchased Systrom’s startup in April, which is a crazy amount of money, but likely worth it for Facebook which is seeking to build up its mobile reputation.

Systrom won out over runner-up Elon Musk, a very different type of entrepreneur and the founder of Tesla Motors, but his 2012 wasn’t just a series of unending highs. He took some heat for selling out from lovers of the service immediately following the Facebook sale, and came under fire when the network announced changes to its terms of service. Systrom made the right move, however, repealing the changes and addressing user concerns directly in a blog post with his name attached to the admission of Instagram’s wrong turn.

Another major accomplishment for Systrom and the company he created was perhaps best summed up by Crunchies host John Oliver on stage:

We should feel very grateful for having Instagram in our lives, because without Instagram we would not have ‘Rich Kids of Instagram’ in our lives, which is just a fantastic example of why the rest of the world still hates America.

Other nominees in this category included Nathan Blecharczyk, Brian Chesky, and Joe Gebbia from Airbnb; Kevin and Julia Hartz and Renaud Visage from Eventbrite; and Nir Zuk from Palo Alto Networks.



Chris Dixon Wins Crunchies 2012 “Angel Of The Year;” Peter Thiel Is Named “VC Of The Year”


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IMG_1582

As you may know, TechCrunch, GigaOm and VentureBeat host the Crunchies award ceremony each year to celebrate the most compelling startups, Internet and technology innovations of the year. But we also recognize the angel investors and venture capitalists who write the checks that fund these innovations.

For Angel of the Year, which was presented by Google Ventures Partner Kevin Rose and VentureBeat’s Rebecca Grant, the nominees were Michael Arrington, Chris Dixon, Paul Graham, David Lee and Chris Sacca. Paul Graham took the second spot, and the winner is Chris Dixon!

Dixon, who joined VC firm Andreessen Horowitz at the end of 2012, has made angel investments in more than 50 startups including Hipmunk, Foursquare, Kickstarter, Stripe, Pinterest, Dropbox, Codecademy, Stack Overflow, Bloomreach, Optimizely, Trialpay, OMGPOP, and Skype. He also co-founded an East Coast seed venture fund called Founder Collective and via that fund, made investments in MakerBot, Ifttt, Milo (acquired by eBay), Betaworks, Groupme (acquired by Skype), and Buzzfeed.

For VC of the year, which was presented by Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom and VentureBeat’s Dylan Tweney, the nominees were Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, Benchmark’s Matt Cohler, Sequoia Capital’s Jim Goetz, Sequoia Capital’s Michael Moritz and Founders Fund’s Peter Thiel. Jim Goetz, whose enterprise investments include Jive, Nimble Storage and Palo Alto Networks, took the second spot. And the winner is Peter Thiel!

Thiel, who launched VC firm Founders Fund, was the first outside investor in Facebook, which went public in 2012. During the year, Founders Fund also led investments in Stripe, Asana and Quora, among others. And Thiel funded Palantir Technologies, a company which he also helped launch.

Congratulations to our winners!



Affordable 3D Printer Maker Pirate3DP Hooks In $482K From Red Dot Ventures


This post is by Catherine Shu from TechCrunch


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Venture capital firm Red Dot Ventures has invested $482,000 USD in Pirate3DP, a Singapore-based startup that is developing an affordable, user-friendly 3D printer for the mass market.

Pirate3DP was founded by childhood friends Roger Chang, Brendan Goh and Tsang You Jun, as well as serial tech entrepreneur Neo Kok Beng, a professor at the National University of Singapore. The startup’s flagship product is the Buccaneer, which is currently in the prototyping phase and will be launched in the middle of this year. The team envisions the low-cost 3D printer as a “playground for artists to create, monetize and share ideas with others.”

“In a near future, everyone will have a 3D printer in their home sitting next to their paper printer and making plastic jewelry, kitchen utensils, toys, models, homework projects, and non-critical replacement parts. Nonetheless, current consumer models are either too expensive or too difficult to use. We intend to change that. Pirate3D will bring this technology to everyone’s homes by making it low-cost, efficient and user-friendly,” said Roger Chang, CEO of Pirate3DP.

Snapchat Wins “Fastest Rising Startup” At The 2012 Crunchies


This post is by Frederic Lardinois from TechCrunch


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snap:snapchat-fastest-rising-startup-award-at-the-2012-crunchie-about-the-2012-crunchies-awards-on-the-crunchies-awards

Mobile photo messaging app Snapchat just won “Fastest Rising Startup” at this year’s edition of the Crunchies. If startups are really all about growth, then our voters couldn’t have picked a better winner than Snapchat, which didn’t just grow into a massively popular service this year, but also spawned a whole ecosystem of sites that teach its users how to get images out of the service before they are automatically deleted. Fastest Rising Startup was presented on stage by Danny Lopez, the British Consul-General in New York and Head of the U.S. operations of UK Trade & Investment, and Venture Beat’s Jolie O’Dell.

The runner up in this category was payment service Stripe. Other nominees included Lyft, Pinterest and Exec, the company that was maybe the most excited to be nominated for a Crunchie this year. Fastest Rising Startup was a new category at the Crunchies this year. Pinterest won “Best New Startup of 2011″ last time around.

The Snapchat co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, who started the service as a class project at Stanford University in 2011, obviously had a massive year as their service quickly went mainstream over the last few months and grew to over 50 million snaps per day by the end of 2012. At the same time, though, Snapchat also got somewhat of a bad rep and is often equated with “sexting,” something that’s apparently pretty popular these days. Still, Snapchat’s success spawned a good number of clones, including Facebook’s Poke app.

Snapchat expanded to Android in November 2012 and is rumored to be in the process of raising an $8 million funding round to expand and scale its service.



After A Triumphant App Store Return, Google Maps Wins The Crunchie For “Best Mobile Application”


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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google-maps

After getting the boot as the default mapping application on iOS devices with the introduction of iOS 6, Google Maps returned to the App Store in December with a new look, new features, and it quickly won back user mindshare and massive adoption. And today, it won something else, too: the Crunchie for the Best Mobile Application.

The runner-up was Evernote, which also had an amazing year. But don’t feel too bad for them – Evernote won last year.

The Google Maps Crunchie was presented on stage by Sequoia Capital’s Roelof Botha and GigaOm’s Tom Krazit. You can watch in the live stream here.

It was a tough year to pick just one great app – after all, there are now over 800,000 iOS applications and over 700,000 on Android, to give you an idea of scale. But Google got a lot of things right with the re-introduction of Maps on iOS this year, moving the ball forward in terms of design and feature set. The app is beautiful, fast, and smooth, offering things like turn-by-turn navigation, business listings and reviews from Google+ Local, walking and transit directions, traffic information and more.