The only thing people in Silicon Valley like to do more than talk about the future of tech is to invent it. Tonight they settled for the second-best thing, in the form of the popular Top 10 Tech Trends dinner.
When you think of event planning and ticketing services, companies like Ticketmaster, Eventbrite, Ticketfly, and Ticketleap probably come to mind.
But event planners often times need more than just ticketing services.
Enter Splash, a one-stop shop for planning events, selling tickets, and engaging with attendees after the event.
At South by Southwest, the one-year-old startup powered nearly 200 events and collected 384,000 RSVPs, Splash CEO Ben Hindman tells Business Insider.
“It’s clear, the “winner” of SXSW13: @splashthat,” Union Square Venture analyst Brian Watson tweeted about a week before the festival started. “Splash this event, splash that event.”
For comparison’s sake, 7-year-old company Eventbrite powered 778 events. It also just passed two major milestones: 100 million tickets issued and $1.5 billion in ticket sales on the platform. So Splash still has some ways to go, but it seems to be on the right path, nonetheless.
Since launching a little over a year ago, Splash has attracted 25,000 event planners to its platform, including representatives from Spotify, Wired Magazine, Columbia Records, Vevo, Funny or Die, and Buzzfeed.
Meanwhile, former Eventbrite NYC Evangelist Staci Perkins recently left the company to work for Splash. Perkins is also the COO at CatalystCreativ, a socially conscious experience agency that helps brands create meaningful communities.
Even though Splash is creeping into Eventbrite’s territory, Hindman says it’s not their intention to wage war with Eventbrite.
“I think that they are the best in the business at tickets,” Hindman says. “They’re a ticket portal and they are so good at it. That said, that’s not what I need as an event planner. What I need is an event website. And often Eventbrite, to me, because the way it’s structured, they don’t allow you to make events look beautiful.”
Still, Hindman admits that Eventbrite inspired many aspects of Splash.
“The fact that we copied them, we copied almost every single thing we could from them, because they were so good,” Hindman says. “But to me, they’re ticketware and we’re eventware. There are so many things that go into an event that we really wanted to help people with and that includes email, that includes contact management, that includes picture storage.”
Each Splash page comes with a dedicated drop space for photographers. So once the event is over, the photographer can quickly upload photos directly to the site. Then, the event planner can make beautiful galleries to feature on the event page.
In Splash’s early days, Hindman says the company thought about doing a revenue share deal with Eventbrite, but ended up not working with them.
And it looks like that decision is about to pay off. Now, Splash is about four months into its ticketing service and has already processed $650,000 in gross sales. Earlier this week, Splash processed $25,000 in ticket sales in one day. Hindman says the company is approaching profitability, with a burn rate of less than $10,000 a month.
Hindman has vast experience in the event space. Before Splash, Hindman worked as director of events at Thrillist, where he realized the need for a full-fledged events platform. He’s also one of the founding members behind the super exclusive Summit Series retreat for entrepreneurs and innovators.
“A song is a song is a song,” Hindman says. “But, the way that you package it, the way that it looks that’s what’s important. And it’s kind of the same with an event. It’s all just about a space, but it’s the way that you present it, and start that event from the second that person hits the page. That’s what we’re pushing here. Really extending the life of your event both before the event and after the event.”
While Eventbrite would not specifically comment on Splash, its senior public relations manager Vanessa Schneider tells Business Insider that there is certainly value in capturing shared live experiences.
But at Eventbrite, the company is currently focusing on making it easier for people to discover events and receive personalized recommendations. Later down the road, once Eventbrite has mastered the discovery element, they may then look into chronicling the events.
This morning, I published a guest post from Steven Nissen, Chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, alleging that the most likely rationale for an upcoming panel meeting being held by the Food and Drug Administration was to make some FDA leaders less accountable for the scandals that surrounded the diabetes drug Avandia. (See:The Hidden Agenda Behind The FDA’s Avandia Hearings.) This is the GlaxoSmithKline’s prepared statement in response to that article. The FDA’s response can be found here.
New hardware companies are one of the hottest trends in the startup world.
Instead of building apps and Web services, companies are building real physical hardware that you can buy and use.
A lot of these find life on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, where the community votes with its wallet on what gadget they want to use. Most notably, there’s Pebble, a company that makes smartwatches, and Ouya, a company that makes an Android-based video console. Both companies have raised millions in regular VC money after seeing success on Kickstarter.
But they’re not alone. Check out some other cool hardware startups you need to know about.
Startup: Grand St.
Location: New York, NY
Founders: Amanda Peyton, Aaron Hendhsaw, and Joe Lallouz
Concept: An e-commerce consumer electronics marketplace.
Why you should care: Grand St. is an online hyper-curated boutique that sells creative technology. Grand St. is a great way to discover new products because the site only stocks gadgets that have been tested by someone on staff.
Funding: $1.3 million
Location: San Francisco, Calif.
Founder: Eric Migicovsky
Concept: A fully customizable e-ink smartwatch.
Why you should care: Pebble was one of the largest Kickstarter campaigns ever, raising over $10 million in about 30 days.
The watch uses sports and fitness apps, allowing you to get notifications from your smartphone. Pebble also lets users wirelessly control music without having to remove your smartphone from your pocket.
Funding: $26.1 million
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Founders: Julie Uhrman and Yves Behar
Concept: A $99 open-sourced video gaming console based on Android.
Why you should care: Ouya is re-imaging how we consume video games. Traditionally, consoles cost upwards of $300, but this device is tiny and cheap. The Ouya runs its own version of the Android operating system and is in the process of developing exclusive content.
The platform is completely open, meaning any Ouya owner and gamer can also become a developer.
Funding: $23.6 million
We rounded up 14 of the earliest employees at Tumblr. They were the site’s first users, template designers, and friends of David Karp’s. The first employee was Marco Arment, who went on to found and sell his own startup, Instapaper.
See how they all fared …
Date founded: 2006
Role and career history: David Karp is the founder and CEO of Tumblr. The acquisition will net him somewhere around $200 million.
Prior to founding Tumblr, Karp was Head of Product at Urban Baby, a site that was acquired by CNET in 2006. The money from the acquisition seeded Davidville, Karp’s creative company that ultimately produced Tumblr.
Date joined: 2006
Role and career history: Arment was Tumblr’s first employee in 2006. He calls himself an “idea editor.”
“While I wasn’t a ‘founder’ financially, David was generous with my employee stock options back in the day,” Arment wrote on his blog earlier this week. “I won’t make yacht-and-helicopter money from the acquisition, and I won’t be switching to dedicated day and night iPhones. But as long as I manage investments properly and don’t spend recklessly, Tumblr has given my family a strong safety net and given me the freedom to work on whatever I want.”
Date joined: Full time in April 2008, part time before that.
Role and career history: LaFountain was one of Tumblr’s first 18,000 users. He started working part-time for Karp and joined full-time in April 2008 as Tumblr’s “one-man tech support shop.”
“I just wrote them and said, hey, I’m one of your earlier and most passionate users and I would really love it if you would give me the opportunity to do tech support for Tumblr. I had a bit of an IT and support background,” LaFountain told The Atlantic in 2011. He says he and Karp exchanged two emails calls and had a call that likely was shorter than ten minutes. After that, he had the job.
Earlier this week, an administrative law judge in New York City ruled that a man renting out his East Village apartment through Airbnb violated the city’s law.
New York City has a law that makes it illegal for people to rent out their homes or apartments for less than 29 days. The law is actionable only as a secondary offense, however.
Still, a good amount of apartments you find on Airbnb don’t require a minimum stay of that long. Instead, some hosts only require you stay for a couple of nights.
Some of these illegally-listed properties come with outdoor showers, hot tubs, and amazing views of the city skyline.
Note: Click the link below each image to see the full listing on Airbnb.
This was not a good week to be a wireless provider’s customer – a universe that encompasses, well, everybody.
Google is considering a bid for Israeli mapping startup Waze, Bloomberg News reports.
There have already been several reports that Facebook wants to buy Waze for a price north of $1 billion.
The reason: Facebook wants Waze to move its operations to California. Waze’s cofounders do not.
The new food industry growing up in Silicon Valley achieved another major milestone today when Campbell Soup announced it will acquire Plum Organics for an undisclosed amount.
How has Facebook changed since 2004? Here’s a look at some of the site’s most notable redesigns and features.
UK network EE have confirmed that the HTC First, the so-called Facebook Phone, will not be sold in the UK (reports Engadget, and others). This is due to Facebook looking to increase the customisation features of the Facebook Home experience before the HTC First goes on sale on the right hand side of the Atlantic.
Design changes to Google Search that Jon Wiley and his team have worked on in the past few years:
The “most-watched sporting event on the planet” will be played this weekend at Wembley Stadium in London, as Bloomberg notes. And while it has declared “Germany” as the “winner” because both finalists are German teams, there’s likely to be another big beneficiary emerging from the hype surrounding the Champions League final: Ford Motor Co.
Here’s a chart of Amazon from analyst Benedict Evans.
As you can see, for its life, Amazon’s net income has essentially been flat fluctuating between small losses and small profits.
Its revenues, on the other hand, have skyrocketed.
This is the Bezos-way. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos invests everything right back into the company. As a result, the net income is flat.
Over time, we expect he’ll want to have net income mirror the trajectory of revenue. We just don’t know how long it will be before that happens.