Startup and Technology News, Vol. 1

I read a lot. I’d love to find a way to share the best of what I read on my blog. This is my first attempt.

Bob Lefsetz latest letter about Spotify and the larger music economy is a must-read. I’ve been sharing “Spotify Rules” with a lot of my music industry friends, but anyone that consumes music would find it insightful. Lefsetz predicts the MP3 will be extinct by 2018 and that streaming data will be the new first-week sales report. There’s more in it, though. Definitely give it a read.

Secret just raised $25 million in it’s second round of funding. Don’t tell anyone. In all seriousness, can anonymity apps make money? No one from Secret or their rival app Whisper have publicly discussed they can/will monetize. This is something definitely worth keeping an eye on, especially since Secret and Whisper are both raising serious dough.

Fred Wilson expects continuing fragmentation in the mobile messaging app marketplace. In other words, there won’t be one go-to app for communicating with friends. Instead we will use a variety of messaging apps to communicate with different people for different reasons. That’s good news for Klique. We’re the only app with group-to-group chat messaging.

Yeezus Taught Me

Yeezus Cover

I was in Palm Springs, California for the first weekend of Coachella. The entire Klique team was there to debut the beta version of the app. We also co-branded with REVOLT and Beats Music at two house parties. It was a good time, and we got a lot done.

Driving back Los Angeles to catch our flights took much longer than anticipated. It was stop-and-go traffic in the middle of the California dessert. Thankfully, we had a lot of music to bump. One of the albums we played from start to finish was Kanye West’s Yeezus.

The first time I listened to Yeezus, I was in an office, in front of a screen. I didn’t like the album outside of a handful of songs.

Listening to Yeezus while driving through the California desert completely changed my thoughts of the album. It felt like I was hearing a completely different album; a better album.

Here’s the takeaway: A music experience is one part music quality and one personal context. It’s about how good the music is, and also what setting you are in when you hear it.

The Handwritten Birthday Card

A few weeks ago I went to pick up a birthday card for a family member. While I was looking through the birthday cards at my local Duane Reade, I have some thoughts that I want to share with you. I’m going to let this post be the spark of some future ideating, and I encourage everyone to respond to my prompt at the end.  

My 5 Personal Blogging Principles

I decided to start blogging consistently again because I believe clear writing means clear thinking. If I’m going to do it, though, I have to do it my way.

1. I will only write about topics that interest me.

2. I will only write about these topics when I am inspired.

3. I will experiment with new ways to present my content.

4. I will fearlessly share my ideas, experiences, insights and opinions.

5. I will create something that’s useful for you and me.

Path Talk: Can Path’s New Standalone Messaging App Save The Company?

Path Talk

Path just released a standalone chat messaging app called Path Talk that their branding as a replacement to SMS and Facebook. Typically this kind of news doesn’t do much for me, but there’s a little more to Path Talk that I think is worth talking about.

Path acquired TalkTo a couple days ago, and will be implemented the TalkTo technology into Path Talk later this summer. TalkTo allowed consumers to ask questions to stores and restaurants by text. And Path Talk will do the same when they add ‘Place Messaging’ to Path Talk later this summer:

Place Messaging will enable Talk messaging between you and any local business. Make dinner reservations, book hair appointments, get prices, hours, and check in-store availability all without ever placing a phone call.

For whatever it’s worth, Path is kind of desperate to make something that sticks, especially in the USA. While they used to be a fairly prominent app, they had to lay of 20% of their staff in October 2013. And last month, Pando Daily wrote a pretty tough piece about the status of the company, saying it may be the “beginning of the end”.