Notes From Meetups

New York Tech Meetup September 8th, 2010

Apture – (Tristan Acher) “We give readers power to search and explore information without leaving the page.” Financial Times is their customer. It is embedded software that displays an in-page window popped up when a user selects text on the page. Used by newspapers (NY Times, Reuters, Financial Times, the Nation) to keep users on the page while providing a richer sense of what it is. Publishers will need to add only 1 line of code to integrate.

Nearsay – Micro-journalism site focusing on delivering neighborhood-by-neighborhood news. Allows you to customize the feed you are looking at based on the neighborhoods you select & other criteria about what news you’re interested in seeing.

meetMoiNow – iPhone app dating service. Keeps track of your location and pushes potential matches to your phone, giving you a 60 minute opportunity to contact that person by clicking “yes.” Live in the Andiod store, they are waiting for iTunes store approval.

Presentation by Google gogles. A tool for taking pictures with your phone and getting instant search results for more information about what you are looking at.

Jibe – The ‘intersection’ of facebook and linked in to aid in your job search. Nice, clean interface, shows you the combination of both networks, sortable by various factors (like industry). All kinds of stats nicely compiled: employment rates, who you are connected to, industries, schools, etc. Looks like a nice clean site. See also They launch a year ago at TechCrunch 50, but then made a “pivot.” He said “We launched at TechCrunch last year and thought we had an amazing product. We realized we only had a good one, so in the last year we integrated social and have re-launched it in an even more exciting city.”

Grovo – An online dynamic training platform. Has video training content to teach you how to use popular websites (twitter, craigslist, etc).

Kodingen – A cloud development. It looks like a web-based IDE (integrated development environment). Looks relatively slick, nicely thought out, although personally I’m sticking with Eclipse.

Propercloth – Make it easy for guys to get dress shirts exactly the style and fit you want. Allows you to specify you shirt size in measurement, or gives you the option to specify a size of an existing shirt by brand. Made-to-order shirts. 30% off all orders in the next day and a half with discount code “NYTM30”. We recently started manufacturing everything in Malasia.

Notes From Meetups

NY Tech Meetup August 3rd, 2010

This is the 76th NY Tech meetup; September is going to be the 6th year anniversary. Nate has a little self back-patting before getting to the show.

Nate toutes his work brokering a connection for NY high school students to
get placed as interns at start-ups. – iPhone app to connect people at business networking events. Looks like it is – Web site specialized in selling vintage clothing. Assresses challenges unique to selling vintage clothing on line, extra large photos. Looks fantastic. Wanted to create a destination for vintage. Sellers are vetted to make sure they are selling actually vintage clothing. Incredible site – fast, beautiful, finessed. Pamela, Jon Berger – online shopping with some connection for facebook of some kind.

Ben – founder of, making an argument against Clay Shirkey; intrinsic vs extrincis motifivations; free time; cognative surplus; he is questioning the distinction between intrinsic and external motivation;

he says all that is changing is compute, storage and bandwidth – I’ve heard him make this argument before. – Chris Danzig, Matt Siegel. Shift in how music was monitized. They are launching something like an artists’ social netowrk. In-browser music mixer utility like Garage Band, looks amazing. More tools to help an artist quickly launch and distribute a song. Someone from the audience gives them a really hard time asking, “Well you actually did distribute some of your artists on the major 4 record labels, didn’t you?” She seem to imply that they are not as indy-empowering as they claim to be, while at the same time implying that they don’t have big name people. Nate dismisses her by asking “Anyone else have a question.” They finish by talking about some integration with myspace platform. Something about this company I dont understand – they seem to be a collaboration platform but also changing the ability for artists to distribute without the record labels. – Get push notifications when your friends are watching TV. Points & credits for more TV watching. (I really just can’t even comment on this idea it sort of makes me sick.)

Nate forbids the “where is your revenue model” question. “You know, you get some traffic, you make a partner, you get more traffic, and then you get bought maybe,” he says, pointing out the hallow nature of the question itself. (His attitude is, “duh guys”)

Twilio – He is writing some kind of code to set up a conference call which he is encouraged the entire audience to call into at once. Some kind of PHP output to XML, creates a conference call instantly. Looks like an interesting technology, although I’m not sure exactly what its application is over a more simpler web-based conference calling service.

They have an open source tool called “OpenVBX.” Allows you to create a menu, create a group, basically all the features of a PBX.

Remote presence – remote controller robots that allow someone to activate a robot in a remote place and go talk to people “screen-to-face.” He connects to menlo park and drives the robot around an office – the office of the robotics company that builds these things – surprising the people that they are being broadcast to 800 people at the NY Tech meetup. Willo Garage – built an operating system to support the development of robotics.

Reed Schafner – product manager in charge of Bing’s development platform. He is talking about bing extensions for Safari 5.

Notes From Meetups

New York Tech Meetup July 6, 2010

Usual round-up of tonight’s NYTM with my brief annotations. – A personal betterment site. “Learn look and feel better.” Helps independent freelances find clients. Online booking system, availability is displayed and clients can book freelancers online. Nice look site, looks like it could be rails, Web 2.0 polish. Not sure how this site will distinguish itself or if it will gain traction, but it looks nice. – Man how many social networking status-updating sites does the world need? A FourSquare-like idea, creating a “structured status update,” you can connect immediately to other people doing the same thing at the same time.

LearnVest – dedicated to making women savvier about their money. Focused on a specific audience, women age 23-50, who control 83% of household financial decisions. Learnvest bootcamp: Intensive 3-week program. Financial planer “lite” online. Check all that apply screen gives users options to describe their lives (buying a home, having a baby, trying to save, etc), will produce a personalized action plan. Nicely done site, clearly feminine-oriented design (Is it cool for me to write that?).

Frontal – A markup & scripting language that generates flash, built on open web standards, makes it very easy & fast to add dynamic content to your website. I guess they’re trying to compete with HTML5? Seems dumb to me. Their markup looks like CSS. Text-based, SEO friendly.

Foodspotting – A hyper-local visual guide to highly rated dishes. “You can see visually just as you would peruse a bakery window.” Find out how to get to the restaurant, leave reviews for your peers.

Next came one of my heroes, Clay Shirkey, giving us a teaser from his new book Cognitive Surplus… trying to type this fast (he thinks fast and talks even faster).

“Digitial sharecropper” – Andrew Carr. the phenomenon of people uploading content to pubicly traded companies. The idea that people should be bitter about commercial companies offering these kinds of motivations. Why are people being generous with our emotions and creating these shared stories. Not because it is so surprising, but because our previous view of human nature is so flawed.

“Generosity as a design problem”

These sites are in the business of providing platform for us to create value for eachother. – create amazing first dates. You propose a date. “How about we spend an afternoon exploring the furniture warehouses in greenpoint.” These ideas gets sent out to other members of the site. Very innovative idea, well received by this crowd.

StuffBuff – “a new way to buy and sell online” I guess it is like eBay but you can chat with the sellers? Features: embed code lets you embed the auction onto other sites – blog, facebook, etc. The crowd was a little dubious that this would take off. The owner wanted to make the case that having an “action” on your blog (“right where you’re browsing”) was gonna making buying easier cause it was “right there,” but I think maybe people didn’t quite seem to, ahem, buy that.

Jetsetter – incubated by Gilt, luxury travel sales. Like Gilt, employs “flash sales,” product sells for 5 days or less. Photography heavy, seductive images of the places. Daily email goes out gives them a wealth of statistics about people’s interests. “Things go on sale today you have to look at it today – that creates urgency and propels engagement with the content.”

comiXology ( – You can buy full comic books on your mobile devices. “Guided interface” – pans the comic book in the order you’d read the comic (showing the panel on the left, then panning to the right, in the order of the dialog). They have some partnership with DC Comics. “The distribution of comics has not kept up with the form.” He lists a number of recent movies based on comic books. “What that says to me is that comics really do resonate. They resonate in a way that distribution hasn’t kept up with.”

Notes From Meetups

New York Tech Meetup June 9th

The most dramatic thing at tonight’s New York Tech Meetup was, far and away, Scott Heifferman, founder of, smashing an iPad on stage (yes, it was a real iPad). Perhaps the furor over Apple’s ubiquitous onslaught of advertising got to him, perhaps it was to be dramatic, probably both. (He was telling us about a new feature on called “Meetups Everywhere” which allows anyone to spark Meetups around a specific topic all over the world.) His move was dramatic, albeit lacking in much of a point (His point was that his innovation is way more cool than the iPad.).

Here’s a brief write-up of some of the other startups that presented. NYTM is at a new space today, the beautiful and spacious NYU Skirball Center. The 500+ person event is now housed in a giant space with two balconies, wonderful lighting, and clearly higher tech A/V equipment than at the FIT Center.

Snacksquare – This is a hot LBS (location-based service) start-up – a cool Web2.0 interface lets a store owner define a square radius from his location. When someone checks in on FourSquare, Lattitude (or soon Facebook when they add LBS), a coupon will be sent directly to that user.

Knowmore – This is an aggregate of all your social networks. I guess it is kind of like a web-based version of TweetDeck. What I like about it is that it shows all content inline – photos, videos, etc, right in the same screen. Looks pretty nice.

Fairshare – A mobile app to let New Yorkers share cab rides. You can set where you are, where you are going, and tell your potential ride what you’re wearing so that they will recognize you.

Tynt – Here’s an interesting little innovation that uses Javascript to add a little snippet to the bottom of something you copy out of a web page. You copy text off a web page, paste it into your email program. At the bottom of that little snippet of text a link gets inserted that directs back to the webpage where you copied it from. Of course the user can manually remove it, but you probably won’t.

Thumbplay – 70 person start-up here in New York. Delivers content to mobile phones – live streaming music? He’s talking a lot about how his cool the site is using HTML5, native HTML5 video, transitions & fades. Not exactly sure what the product does, but his demo is very energetic and is all about how cool HTML5 is. All streaming music down to a mobile phone. He demos 5 HTML5-only tags: auto tag, web database, drag & drop, notifications API, local storage API.

Forrst – This is a private club of developers & designers to discuss tips, hacks, tricks, etc. Was originally written in Ruby/Rails, when it got bigger, he re-wrote it in PHP (LAMP). Do you pay to join? No, it’s free, but it is invite only.

Perpetually – Visual web analytics, business intelligence and enterprise archiving. There should be a way to perfectly archive web content. Creating ways to capture all the content on the web and find ways to make use of it. Like the web archive, it snapshots sites perfectly in time, allowing you to go back in time and see how a page looked in the past. Primary use is with web analytics. He says that there was a site that couldn’t figure out why their traffic dropped, until they used this tool and noticed that the traffic dropped right at the same time the moved the search box on their site.