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Month: June 2013

As IPO Nears, Twitter CEO Says “We Think Of Revenue Like Oxygen”

As Twitter nears its IPO, CEO Dick Costolo seemingly refuses to focus on the money. “We think of revenue like oxygen. Essential to life but not the first thing you think about in the morning,” he told Katie Couric at The Atlantic’s Aspen Ideas Festival. “I don’t try to get caught up in short-term thinking about the company.” Given the impending IPO, this is likely Costolo’s last interview, so these quotes will haunt them as the $10 billion IPO frenzy ramps up. Couric asked him if he had learned anything from Facebook’s epic IPO blunder. Costolo, in a transparent dodge that got laughs from the audience, said, “I don’t like to think about reacting to what other people are doing in the market. It’s like driving while looking in the rear view mirror.” The goal, Costolo said in true buzzword-happy fashion, is to become a “global town square.” Costolo completely bypassed questions about the National Security Agency’s Internet snooping program. “We have to obey the rule of law,” he said, noting that Twitter was not one of the nine companies named as part of the PRISM program. It should be noted that Twitter isn’t the only company that claimed to fight the NSA. Yahoo reportedly tried to block the NSA’s spying but lost. So while it’s laudable that Twitter isn’t part of PRISM, it may be because Twitter doesn’t collect the kinds...

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Startups Compete To Win The Mobile App CRM Battle

Editor’s note: Ankur Jain is an investor at Nexus Venture Partners. Nexus invests in early stage companies across sectors in India and US, and manages $600 million in assets. Follow him on Twitter @Ankur_Jain_VC. The rapid growth of mobile device use has created major gaps in CRM capability. As smartphone adoption has exploded, companies have scrambled to launch mobile apps, many of which are disconnected from an organization’s broader CRM capabilities. Many organizations have little knowledge about the people using their mobile apps, how and why they are using them, how to effectively communicate with them, and how to support them — all of which are critical to providing a tailored mobile customer experience. Indeed, failing any one of these things can lead to users abandoning an app at a time when the competition among apps is increasingly fierce: The average phone in 2013 has 41 apps, up from 28 apps the year before (Nielsen, 2012). Average user retention rate for a mobile app is 54 percent after 30 days and 35 percent after 90 days (Flurry, 2012). In order to drive a differentiated experience and service level for every mobile customer, mobile businesses should strive to segment their user bases on a variety of metrics and then leverage the data to drive user acquisition, retention, engagement, transactions and upsell, as well as cross-sell opportunities. If a frustrated or confused user leaves...

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Benchmark’s Eisenberg And Face.com’s Shochat Raise $120M+ For Aleph, An Early-Stage Fund For Israeli Startups

Two veteran investors who have been integral in the development of a new generation of Israeli startups are on a mission to reverse a trend in a country that has traditionally favored later-stage and enterprise-skewed venture capital. Benchmark’s Michael Eisenberg and Genesis Partners’ Eden Shochat are teaming up to create Aleph — a new fund that aims to bring some much-needed local, early-stage support to Israeli startups. TechCrunch hears that the VC’s first fund is nearly closed and is in the region of $120 million. Given that the venture capital (and startup) landscape in Israel is at a potentially significant juncture — the most recent exit being Waze to Google for $1.1 million — the founders want to strike while the iron is hot. And they’re setting the bar high: They want Aleph to become the go-to early-stage venture capital firm in Israel, our sources tell us. Israel has a long, prolific history when it comes to supporting innovation in science and technology. Today, the percentage of its population working in science and tech — and the amount it spends on RD (relative to its GDP) — is reportedly the highest of any country in the world. One can begin to see why Israel has become home to the RD centers of over 250 multinationals, including Google, Oracle, Microsoft and IBM. It also helps explain why Israeli tech has,...

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Nike SB Koston SE "Medium Olive"

While Eric Koston himself has been hard at work on other avenues such as the Desillusion Magazine film and the upcoming The Hypebeast Paper cover, his footwear counterparts at Nike SB have also been steadily churning out new product. The latest to arrive is the Nike SB Koston SE in an understated “Medium Olive and black colorway. Fairly unassuming, the shoe is treated in the medium olive hue and positioned atop a pure white midsole that finishes off with a traditional gum undersole. A black Swoosh, interior lining and olive tonal laces finish things off. If you’re looking to pick these up, availability is now offered through Flatspot. Article source:...

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Damir Doma 2014 Spring Collection

When Parisian-based designer Damir Doma stepped into his presentation and collection Fall/Winter 2013, he went a decidedly futuristic and modern route. While Spring 2014 is not as “futuristic” per se, the collection is nothing short of progressive and forward-looking. Spring 2014 sees Doma experimenting with his traditional design tenants such as pleated pants, balloon-cut tops, loose trousers and cropped jackets, while also infusing offbeat material and textile choices. In terms of color palette, Doma employs relatively neutral hues and color selections while integrating bolder colors on occassion via rich blues and light purple. Article source:...

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